Suggested Events for March 5th-11th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

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.

Journey Camp at Woolman Hill, Deerfield and at Open View Farm, Conway this summer! The supportive staff makes it easy to find new friends while exploring nature, theater, games, music, and crafts. Inclusiveness and peace building are hallmarks of Journey Camp. Founder and Director, Sarah Pirtle, has numerous awards for her books and music for children. Session One, boys & girls ages 7-12, June 27-July 1, 8:45-4, Deerfield; Hilltown Session, boys and girls ages 7-12, July 11-15,8:45-4pm, Conway; Moonseed Teen Leadership for Girls, ages 11-18, July 25-July 28, two overnights & campfires, Deerfield; Girls Week, ages 7-12, Aug. 1-5 & Aug. 8-12, 8:45-4, Deerfield. www.sarahpirtle.com Contact: 413-588-6399, marsha.journey@gmail.com.

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

Bulletin Board

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.

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.

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 10 & 11

On March 10th and 11th at 6:30pm, 35 area students take to the Academy of Music Theatre’s stage in The Music Man Jr., a youth adaptation of Meredith Wilson’s six-time, Tony Award-winning musical comedy. Master showman Harold Hill is in town, and he’s got “seventy-six trombones” in tow. Can upright, uptight Marian, the town librarian, resist his powerful allure? Based on the timeless Broadway classic, The Music Man Jr. adapts this masterful musical for young performers. The result is family entertainment at its best – a bold, brassy show sure to delight audiences of all ages with a running time of approximately one hour. The Academy of Music Theatre is located at 274 Main St in Northampton. Tickets $5. General admission. 413-584-9032 x105.

Mar 12

It’s time to have some family fun at the 5th Annual Family Dance Party with DJ Youthelectronix to benefit the Nonotuck Community School! The Dance Party will be held on Saturday, March 12, 2016 at Jackson Street School from 10am to 12pm. Help support the school with a $5 donation per person. Kids under 1 are free. All proceeds go to Nonotuck. There will be fun games to play, pizza to eat, a “chill out space,” a Bake Sale with delicious treats and face painting! 120 Jackson Street, Northampton, MA.

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.

Apr 24 – May 22

Biocitizen’s Drawing on Nature is an environmental art class that nurtures biophilia & the skills of transporting nature into the sketchbook with pencils & paints & into sculpture with clay—& features hikes & plein aire activities. Introductory concepts of composition, line, form, value, texture, color and pattern are used to inspire students’ imaginations & expressions. The rigor of botanical illustration is balanced with the fun of loose gesture drawings & experiments in clay. Students get a notebook & a travel watercolor set that they take home. Tuition is $230.00 for 20 hours instruction & all materials. Classes are Sundays, 10am–2pm, from Apr 24-May 22, 2016. Ages: 9-12 Contact: 413-320-0522 ♦ info@biocitizen.orgwww.biocitizen.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
March 5-11, 2016

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

Donate Now Events Happening in the Hilltowns

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Ongoing Saturday Events

Hilltown Family Variety Show9-10am – HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW: Steve Denyes of Hullabaloo creates the “Hullabaloo Animal Zoo,” playing his favorite animal songs by his favorite artists. Plus, Steve tells the world’s shortest short story! 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, March 5, 9am-11:30am
ANIMAL TRACKING
Do you or your child enjoy puzzles and mysteries? Animal tracking combines a love of finding clues with learning about animals in local habitats. With the help of naturalist Dan Yacobellis, you can learn to figure out what animals are near based on their tracks on the ground, scat, nests, and dens. Join other nature lovers for this educational trek around Sheep Hill. You will likely see signs of local deer, rabbits, mice, fox and birds. For a full day of adventure, children age eight and up (and their caregivers) are welcome to stick around for the fisher cat and bobcat tracking lesson at noon. 413-458-2494 Williamstown, MA. ($)

Saturday, March 5, 10am
SEED SHARING
The ancient practice of swapping seeds serves many purposes: ensuring food security, building community ties, and increasing biodiversity. Even if you don’t have seeds to share, you can come to a seed swap at Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School. In addition to acquiring new seeds and making good use of your excess seeds, you can learn about seed saving and swap farming/gardening techniques. In addition to seed swapping, there will be workshops and a seed guessing activity. 80 Locust Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 5, 10am
THE BOY AND THE BEAST
As part of the Amherst Cinema family film series, children can continue their crash course in foreign films by screening the 2015 fantasy film, The Boy and the Beast (PG-13). In this Japanese, animated film, a young boy meets a talking, bear-like creature and becomes his apprentice. The boy, Kyuta, trains to become a warrior. The beasts, in general, do not like humans. Viewing this film as a family could open up conversations about judgment and acceptance. 413-253-2547. 28 Amity St. Amherst, MA. (<$)

Saturday, March 5, 10am-12pm
PRESCHOOL OPEN HOUSE
Between the ages of two and five, children make huge developmental strides intellectually and emotionally. Children learn naturally, at a fast pace, as long as they have are provided with an encouraging environment. For this reason, choosing the right preschool can make a huge impact on your child’s development. Spring Street Preschool is holding an open house, and accepting enrollment for children aged 2 years and 9 months to 5 years. Spring Street preschool offers the unique opportunity for both mixed age programs and small group time with fixed age groups. If you have a young child who could benefit from individualized instruction, access to a large art studio space, experienced and caring teachers, a music program and frequent outdoor play, attend the open house to learn more. Call 413-256-8442 to schedule a tour. 64 Spring Street. Amherst, MA (FREE)

Saturday, march 5, 10am-12noon
OPEN HOUSE/WALDORF EDUCATION
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. Speak with current teachers and parents, visit classrooms and see student work. All ages are welcome! 413-586-1908. 193 Bay Road. Hadley, MA (FREE)

Saturday, March 5, 10am-1pm
NORDIC RACING
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 watching Nordic ski racing can attend the Nordic Race Series. Today’s race will feature classic and freestyle, 5 and 10K races, for youth and adults. 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)

Saturday, March 5, 10am-1pm
LOCAL FOOD/FARMERS’ MARKET
Support your local farmers, and your health, by shopping at the Greenfield Winter Farmers’ Market at Greenfield Middle School. You’ll find the best produce, meat, and prepared food, not to mention one-of-a-kind artisan crafts. Learn where the food was grown, and how, from the growers themselves. 195 Federal Street, Greenfield, MA. (MARKET/SALE)

Saturday, March 5, 10am-2:00pm
LITERATURE FEST
Join students and community members at Amherst College for the final day of LitFest. This day of literary celebration will commence in Valentine Hall with a presentation from authors Mark Bowden and Stacy Schiff. At noon, attendees will meet at the Emily Dickinson Museum for a walking tour of Amherst and a discussion of Dickinson’s life there. Learn about modern writing and local history at this final day of the festival. Open to the public. Amherst College. Quadrangle Drive, Amherst MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 5, 10am-4pm
BOTANY/FLOWER 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 Mount Holyoke College botanical gardens will be open, displaying Spring flowers. Start off your Spring celebration with all your favorite fragrant plants, including hyacinths, narcissus, pansies, freesia, primroses, canary broom, as well as tulips, anemones, ranunculus, crocus, scilla, muscari, cineraria and calceolaria or pocketbook plant. 413-538-2116. Open to the public. Wheelchair accessible. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 5, 10am-4pm
NUTRITIONAL ANTHROPOLOGY
Interested in the history of food? Take a peek 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. Read more in our post, Local History Through the Lens of Food: Nutritional Anthropology in the Pioneer Valley. 46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA. (Admission with donation)

Saturday, March 5, 10am-5pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Dr. SEUSS
The Springfield Museums and the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden are teaming up for a full day celebration of Dr. Seuss’ birthday! This day of family fun includes a puppet show, a scavenger hunt, storytime, magic, and comedy. Kids will have the chance to play with ooblek, a mixture of cornstarch and water with unusual physical properties. This is a highly sensory activity great for kids who seek out sensory experiences. It’s also a great launching point for discussing chemical properties. This substance was named after Dr. Seuss’ 1949 book, Bartholomew and the Oobleck. Considering how often ooblek is used in an educational context, its name is the perfect tribute to a man who was committed to helping children learn. For more information, please call 413-263-6800 x489. 21 Edwards St. Springfield, MA. ($)

Saturday, March 5, 10am-6pm
PROJECT NATIVE FILM FESTIVAL
Name any topic you find interesting, and someone has probably made a documentary about it. Environmental documentary is a huge and growing genre which often sparks political and personal changes in behavior. Audiences learn a great deal from documentaries and few other art forms have a greater impact on personal beliefs and actions. You can expand your knowledge of environmental issues at the 6th annual Project Native film festival at the Tower Theater. Saturday’s screening will begin and end with full length documentaries. In between there will be short films about water and energy. 413-533-3456. 19 College St #1, South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 5, 10am-8pm
BOTANY/FLOWER 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 College botanical gardens. Flower show hours:10:00 am to 4:00 pm daily. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays extended hours: 4:00 to 8:00 pm. 413-585-2740. 16 College Ln, Northampton, MA. (DONATION)

Saturday, March 5, 10:30am
FAMILY MUSIC
The Jones Library. in Amherst is bringing 2013 Grammy Nominee and two-time Parents’ Choice Gold Medal Winner, Alastair Moock, to the Woodbury Room as part of their 2016 Children’s Music Series. Alastair Moock co-wrote an album, Singing Our Way Through: Songs for the World’s Bravest Kids with his daughter when she was diagnosed with leukemia. He performs these songs in hospitals, clinics, and camps across the country. Alastair’s performances are an inspiration to kids and adults interested in playing music as a family, and/or engaging in music therapy for loved ones as well as strangers. 413-259-3091. 43 Amity Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 5, 10:30-11:30am
CREATIVE FREE PLAY/ENGINEERING
Come to the Sunderland Public Library for LEGO Club! The program allows participants to explore the wonderful world of LEGOs with other interested children. A different theme is picked each session, and kids can build on that theme or build a creation of their own. After each club meeting, kids can put their LEGO creations on display at the Library for all to see until the next club. This program is geared for elementary school children (with an adult) but is open to kids of all ages. The LEGO Club will continue to meet every other Saturday. 413-665 2642. 20 School Street, Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

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

Saturday, March 5, 11am
PUPPETS/FAIRYTALES
The Spectrum Playhouse presents “Families First,” a performance of two fairytales by the CIP Puppet Troupe. The CIP Puppet Troupe has been writing and performing original shows together for many years now, and have performed in schools, community centers, and nursing homes. Sometimes they incorporate music into their shows. If you have puppets or even stuffed animals, your children may want to stage their own interpretation of the fairy tales back at home. 413-394-5023. 20 Franklin St, Lee, MA. (DONATION)

Saturday, March 5, 12pm-4pm
ANIMAL TRACKING
Have you ever heard a fisher cat screech? It sounds frighteningly similar to a human scream. It’s good to become familiar with this noise, particularly is fisher cats live near your home, so you don’t mistake the sound for a person! Fisher cats are predators, and solitary hunters. With the help of naturalist Dan Yacobellis, you can learn the signs of fisher cats and bobcats, by looking closely at their tracks in the Sheep Hill forest. This program is designed for adults and kids 8 and up. For a full day of adventure, you’re also welcome to arrive at 9:00am for a more basic tracking walk. 413-458-2494 Williamstown, MA. ($)

Saturday, March 5, 1pm
ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY
Hydropower plants can have both positive and negative impacts on communities and the environment. Five hydropower plants along the Connecticut river are about to be relicensed. These changes could have a great deal of impact on our local environment as well as recreational use of the river for the next two to three decades. Learn about the process of policy making and contribute your thoughts by submitting a comment at the Great Falls Discovery Center. These comments will be included in a public art display, the “River of Words,” at the Vermont State House and other locations across New England. 413- 863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 5, 1pm
LIVE OPERA SCREENING
Did you know that you can see The Met opera, live in HD, at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center? There’s no need to travel to see great live opera. This week you can watch Puccini’s 1892 opera, “Manon Lescaut” at 1pm (running time approximately 3 hours). To enhance your enjoyment of the music, first come to Scott Eyerly’s lecture at 11am. Eyerly has taught courses at The Juilliard School’s Evening Division. His lectures attract a wide audience of lifelong and emerging lovers of opera. 413-528-0100. 14 Castle St, Great Barrington, MA. (<$ to $$)

Saturday, March 5, 1pm-3pm
COOKING LESSONS/CULTURAL HERITAGE
Packages of fresh or frozen tortellini are available at most American grocery stores; however, making your own tortellini is a fun, satisfying way to connect with your Italian heritage. Even if you are not Italian, you can come to the Italian Heritage Center and learn how to make this delicious food, fresh at home. Please bring an apron. Adults and children are welcome. Take home what you make. Call 860-305-1175 to request a registration form and to check seating availability. 56 Margaret St, Springfield, MA. ($$)

Saturday, March 5, 1pm-5pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES
Landscape paintings can help people learn about art history, while also providing insight into the terrain of the past. At the Smith College Museum of Art you can see landscapes of the Pioneer Valley and other New England scenes, and get a glimpse into past reflections of familiar lands. Registration is required by emailing andrea@kestreltrust.org. 20 Elm St, Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 5, 1pm-5pm
INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY
International Women’s Day has existed since 1909, though the goals behind this holiday have changed over time. This year’s celebration has a stated theme: “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality.” You can celebrate women and participate in the global conversation at the Boland School. There will be speakers, vendors, performances, talent shows, and international food. This charity event is sponsored by the non-profit organization Afri(K)que Limited. Proceeds from this event will benefit women and girls affected by hunger, poverty, and homelessness. 426 Armory Street, Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday March 5, 1:30 pm and 4pm
FAMILY THEATER
Let students from kindergarten all the way up to grade twelve enchant you with their performance of Peter and Wendy at the Crocker Farm Elementary School. Peter Pan was originally unveiled as a play in 1904. Later it was presented as a novel and picture book, and eventually several films. With so many iterations of the Peter Pan story, you and your children may have different memories of what Peter, Wendy, and Neverland look like and how the story unfolds. This play will be one more idea to add to the unfolding saga of Peter and Wendy. 413-362-1600. 280 West St, Amherst, MA. (< $)

Saturday, March 5, 2pm
HISTORY/ASTRONOMY
Solar eclipses occur when the moon passes between the Earth and the sun. These eclipses can either be partial or total, depending on what percentage of the sun is obscured by the moon. In a partial solar eclipse, the edges of the sun are still visible in the sky. Predictions of when solar eclipses occur depend on complex, large scale geometry. Eclipses occur several times per year but are not often visible from Earth. David Todd taught astronomy and in 1905 he built a telescope which remains today at Amherst College. He went to great lengths to witness eclipses, and thoroughly studied the planet Mars. At this Historic Northampton Museum lecture, you can learn about astronomy and local history at the same time! Astronomy professor and author George Greenstein will deliver this presentation. 413-584-6011. 46 Bridge St, Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 5, 2pm & 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 2 Adult and 2 Child tickets for only $30. Performances will be held in the Mills Theatre at Bay Path University. 413-565-1307. 588 Longmeadow Street,Longmeadow, MA. ($)

Saturday, March 5, 2pm
LITERACY/ANIMALS
On March 5th, Sunderland Public Library’s story hour will feature a special guest: Toto the Tornado kitten! Toto survived the 2011 tornado which hit Central and Western Massachusetts. Toto’s owner, Jonathan Hall, used this as inspiration for two children’s books. This story hour is a great opportunity for parents to talk to their kids about difficult experiences, and how those life moments can be processed through art. And of course, kitten lovers will have a chance to meet Toto and hear a heartwarming children’s book read aloud. 413-665 2642. 20 School Street, Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 5, 2pm-3pm
US HISTORY
The museum at the Springfield Armory National Historic Site was established just after the Civil War ended and holds arms and equipment that came back from the battlefields. In conjunction with the special exhibit “At Camp in the Field,” Curator Alex Mackenzie will highlight selected objects from the collection and share stories about each. Learn more about the Springfield Armory as an educational resource here. The museum’s Facebook page is an excellent resource for Civil War history, with daily posts about items in the museum’s collection and the war in general. 413-734-8551. 1 Armory Street #2, Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 5, 2-4pm
OPEN HOUSE/INDEPENDENT MIDDLE SCHOOL FAIR
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. 413-863-8055. This event is open to all and will be held at Four Winds School. 54 French King Highway (Route 2). Gill, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 5, 2pm-5pm
OUR GRANDMOTHERS OF HOLYOKE/NUESTRAS ABUELAS DE HOLYOKE
Through photographs and bi-lingual text, this new exhibit at the Wistariahurst Museum curated by Waleska Santiago, narrates stories of women in general, and Latinas in particular. It focuses on concepts of family, challenges faced by grandmothers raising their families, gender expectations, and the connections between grandmothers and their adult grandchildren who reside in Holyoke. Museum goers can see this as inspiration to start new discussions with their grandparents, or to ask their parents for more information on their grandparents’ lives. The exhibit will run for from March 5 through and April 24: Thursday and Friday 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from Noon to 4 p.m. 413-322-5660. 238 Cabot St, Holyoke, MA. (FREE on opening day)

Saturday, March 5, 2pm and 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, March 5, 3:30pm-5pm
LOCAL HISTORY
Are you familiar with Edith Wharton’s classic novel Ethan Frome? Did you know it was partially based on a true story? Local historian and author, Cornelia Brooke Gilder, will discuss the tragic sledding accident in Lenox on March 11, 1904 that Wharton later used in her book. A Victorian tea will follow her presentation and a Q and A session. For more information check out The Mount website. For reservations call Ventfort Hall at 413-637-3206. Ventfort Hall, 104 Walker St, Lenox, MA. $$

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

Saturday, March 5, 4pm
LITERACY/INTERACTIVE PLAY
It is amazing that Alice from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, who originated from a novel 150 years ago, competes with modern characters in the imagination of children. Part of the story’s enduring popularity with children can perhaps be attributed to the fact that Lewis Carroll wrote it for and with children. Lewis first told the story of Alice aloud, improvising and taking advice from the children he told it to. It is fitting, then, that the Greenfield Public Library would celebrate the Alice interactively with an “Experience the Book” event. Children and parents should arrive through the back door of the library promptly at four o’clock to meet Alice herself, participate in an un-birthday party and make a “mad hat”! Please sign up at the children’s desk or call 413-772-1544 x5 to register. 402 Main St, Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 5, 6:30pm
FAMILY FILM/FRIENDSHIP
Pixar’s latest (2015) film, The Good Dinosaur (PG), presents an alternative history in which dinosaurs and humans lived at the same time. This story presents an unlikely friendship between an Apatosaurus and a small boy. Through this friendship the filmmakers explore the theme of courage. Each of the main characters does what he can to protect the other, using different sets of skills and abilities. After screening this movie at the Shutesbury Town Hall, parents can discuss with their kids the story’s ideas about loyalty and embracing differences. Parents can also teach their kids facts about real Apatosauruses, which lived in North America. The first evidence of the Apatosaurus was discovered in 1877. You can use this dinosaur directory to search for museums which house particular species. 413-259-1204. 1 Cooleyville Rd, Shutesbury, MA (DONATION)

Saturday, March 5, 6:30pm-7:30pm
FOLK MUSIC/NATURE BASED
Young families can learn about local wildlife through a musical lens at the Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environment Center. In his sing-along, Roger Tincknell will have children imitate animal sounds while he plays instruments such as the Irish drum, Incan flute, Russian balalaika, banjo, guitar, mandolin, and harmonica. Can you identify the Russian balalaika? Find out what it looks and sounds like. Ages four and up. 99 Millers Falls Road. Northfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 5, 7:30pm
MUSICAL THEATER/LITERATURE ON STAGE
Orlando is based on a biographical parody of the same name, by Virginia Woolf. It is about her companion and lover Vita Sackville-West. 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, March 5, 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, March 5, 8:30pm
CHILDRENS THEATER/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. ($$)

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Sunday, March 6, 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, March 6, 10am-1pm
WINTER PHOTOGRAPHY
In this interactive workshop, photographer Thad Kubis will cover topics such as composition and the exposure triangle, as well as posting, archiving and publishing your images. Winter snow makes a great backdrop for learning about contrast and emphasis. Colors tend to pop out against the white landscape, and the beautiful terrain of the Notchview Nordic Ski Center, will help you capture stunning scenes. 413-684-0148. Route 9, Windsor, MA. (<$ Members, $ Non-members)

Sunday, March 6. 10am-3pm
SNOWSHOE HIKE
Enjoy winter while it lasts! You, your family and friends can start your Sundays off right with fresh air and exercise, followed by hot chocolate and conversation in the visitor’s center. With snowshoes available for rent (on a first come first serve basis) you don’t have to own your own or be experienced at using them. Challenge your body and mind by learning something new at Bartholomew’s Cobble. 105 Weatogue Road, Sheffield, MA. (Trustees Members FREE. Non Members <$)

Sunday, March 6, 10am-4pm
FLOWER 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 Mount Holyoke College botanical gardens will be open, displaying Spring flowers. Start your Spring celebration off with all your favorite fragrant plants, including hyacinths, narcissus, pansies, freesia, primroses, and canary broom. 413-538-2116. Open to the public. Wheelchair accessible. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, March 6, 10am-8pm
FLOWER 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 Sunday March 5 to Sunday, March 20, the Smith botanical gardens will be open, displaying Spring flowers. Start off your Spring celebration at the Smith College botanical gardens. Flower show hours:10:00 am to 4:00 pm daily. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays extended hours: 4:00 to 8:00 pm. 413-585-2740. 16 College Ln, Northampton, MA. (DONATION)

Sunday, March 6. 10am-5pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES
Every first Sunday of the month, The Clark Art Institute offers free admission! The Clark Art Institute, located in north Berkshire County, is one of a small number of institutions globally that is both an art museum and a center for research, critical discussion, and higher education in the visual arts. Opened in 1955, the Clark houses exceptional European and American paintings and sculpture, extensive collections of master prints and drawings, English silver, and early photography. The Clark library, open to the public with more than 240,000 volumes, is one of the nation’s premier art history libraries. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street, Williamstown, MA (FREE)

Sunday, March 6, 11am & 2pm
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. This 11am showing will be a special sensory friendly and sign language interpreted performance. 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 2 Adult and 2 Child tickets for only $30. Performances will be held in the Mills Theatre at Bay Path University. 413-565-1307. 588 Longmeadow Street,Longmeadow, MA. ($)

Sunday, March 6, 1pm-5:30pm
YOUTH ARTS EXPO/TEENS
Goshen Rocks: Youth Arts Expo is a teen initiated arts initiated which grew out of a collaboration between People to Watch:The Next Generation and Graffiti Cat Zine. People to Watch is a teen-run organization which highlights talented young artists in the area. Graffiti Cat Zine helps young artists connect their work with an audience, whether they make visual art, music, or written pieces. At Goshen Rocks Expo you can support these artists, hear poetry, view visual art and listen to live music from local teen bands, Felixis Jinx, Kalliope Jones, Ursa Minor, Parlicium and the Jackson Williams Trio. Goshen Town Hall. Supported by a grant from the Goshen Cultural Council. 42 Main Street (Route 9), Goshen, MA. (DONATION)

Sunday, March 6, 1pm-3:30pm
WRITING/NATURE
Do you and your children like reading? How would you like to make a book of your own?
First, Northfield Naturalist Kim Noyes will lead participants on an outdoor exploration around the Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environment Center. Then, using the natural world as inspiration, Joan Duris will help you begin designing your own book. This is the perfect event for adults and children who enjoy writing, art, and nature. Bring a camera, and snowshoes if there is snow. Participants will be able to bring home the book they’ve begun and continue working on it further at home. Please call to register at 1-800-859-2960. 99 Millers Falls Road. Northfield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, March 6, 2pm-4pm
UKULELE WORKSHOP
Learning to play the ukulele can be a fun introduction to other stringed instruments. At this workshop, Julie Stepanek will teach participants three chords, which is enough to play a few simple folk songs. More experienced players are also welcome to come and bring their own ukulele. Children and adults welcome. Arrive early if you need help with tuning. There will be 20 ukuleles available. Please register to guarantee your spot by calling 413-339-4335. This Tyler Memorial Library event will take place at the Charlemont Town Hall.157 Main Street, Charlemont MA. (FREE)

Sunday, March 6, 2:30pm-3:30pm
YOUTH COOKING CLASS
Cooking is a lifelong skill that everyone needs to survive. Teaching kids at a young age how to cook can make them feel empowered and encourage their natural need to become increasingly independent. This cooking class at the Bushnell Sage Library will teach kids how to make veggie burgers, breakfast, and dessert. This is the first instance of a five week cooking class led by Lia P. Douillet. Bring your children between the ages of 10 to 13 and watch them grow into confident chefs! Please call 413-229-7004 to register. 48 S Main St, Sheffield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, March 6, 3pm
CHILDRENS THEATER/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. ($$)

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Monday, March 7, 2016

Monday, March 7, 10:30am-11:00am
MUSICAL STORYTIME
The Whately Public Library is offering a short, interactive storytime perfect for babies and toddlers. Mother goose nursery rhymes will be blended with puppets and musical instruments. Babies don’t always need structured stimulation, however. Following “Mother Goose on the Loose” there will be open play and social time for kids and parents. Please register by calling. 413-665-2170. 202 Chestnut Plain Rd, Whately, MA. (FREE)

Monday, March 7, 4pm-6pm
COMMUNITY BOOK DISCUSSION
Community members interested in thinking critically about our country’s education system are invited to Heritage Academy to discuss the book Most Likely to Succeed: Preparing our Kids for the Innovation Era. In this book, authors Tony Wagner and Ted Dintersmith highlight the ways in which our education system fails to adequately prepare our children for success. The authors take a historical perspective, arguing that our schools structure was designed a century ago and no longer reflects students’ needs in an evolving economy. Come with your thoughts, suggestions, and frustrations and we will brainstorm ways to work around these educational gaps and fight for improvements in the system. 413-567-1517 x594 Converse Street Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

Monday, March 7, 4pm-6pm
GENEALOGY
The internet has made genealogy research much easier, and for that reason, more and more people are delving into solving the mystery of their origins. Still, what sort of information might you not be able to find online? This workshop at the Holyoke Public Library will address that question in addition to teaching participants how to use the online service Ancestry. This is the first class of a month long series to take place on Monday afternoons. Next week, delve even deeper and work towards getting past any roadblocks you run into in this process. 413-420-8101. 250 Chestnut Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Monday, March 7, 5:30pm-6:45pm
LOCAL AUTHOR READINGS
At the Mason Library you will hear two authors, Richard Barberi and Georgia Barberi, discuss and read from their latest works. Georgia will read from her book, CSyay! and discuss the relevance of sustainable farming to individual lives. Her book contains advice on becoming an active farm share member and she even provides recipes for maximizing the benefit of CSA membership. Richard’s novel, Eighteen is a work of historical fiction dealing with themes of greed, racism, and family loyalties. Hear two different voices and genres, and get inspired about reading, writing, and possibly joining a farm share! 413-528-1720. 231 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

Monday, March 7, 6:00pm
NEUROSCIENCE/PARENTING
Communication across regions of the brain develops most rapidly in a child’s first two years of life. By age two, a child’s brain has the basic, overall structure of an adult’s. Healthy activities can encourage positive development in infants and toddlers. Come to the South Hadley Family Center to learn how to encourage healthy brain connections in your child, and avoid scenarios which inhibit growth. These activities do not have to be difficult or complicated, as your child’s brain is ready to flourish and only needs the right setting and encouragement. 413-586-4900. 7 Woodbridge St, South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Monday, March 7, 7pm
COOKBOOK CLUB
While recipe swapping has existed ever since humans began cooking and arranging combinations of foods, cookbooks mainly originated as professional guides for cooks in upper class homes. De re coquinaria, the oldest surviving European collection of recipes, was written in Latin and contained exotic ingredients such as flamingo. Modern cookbooks are not just written for professional chefs, but everyone who makes their own meals. Cookbooks can help you break the monotony of this daily task by learning to make new meals and expand your repertoire of ingredients. Still, cookbooks can’t engage in conversation; it can be nice to have a person to talk to and share techniques with. Cookbook Club at the Agawam Public Library will serve just that purpose. Come to this informational meeting to learn more. Register by calling 413-789-155 x4. 750 Cooper St, Agawam, MA. (FREE)

Monday, March 7, 7pm-8:40pm
FILM: LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE
Images Cinema, a non-profit, member-supported community film house, is celebrating its 100th year of promoting important films. Images Cinema focuses on showing movies which not only entertain, but have an impact on filmmaking trends. Little Miss Sunshine (R), a story which combines a dysfunctional family theme with a road trip plot, was nominated for and won several awards including an Oscar for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (Alan Arkin). This comedy centers around seven-year-old Olive and her dream of winning the Little Miss Sunshine pageant. If you didn’t get a chance to see the critically acclaimed film when it came out in 2006, you can see it now on the big screen and enjoy a post-show Skype visit from directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris. 413-458-5612. 50 Spring Street. Williamstown, 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 8, 2016

Tuesday, March 8, 3:30pm
BOOK CLUB: MIDDLE GRADE
Second and third graders are invited to boost their literary confidence by joining the Ready Readers Book Club at the West Springfield Public Library. This week participants will discuss the book Switch.This book, by Newbery Honor author Ingrid Law, explores themes of family responsibility through an engrossing fantasy about a thirteen-year-old girl with magical powers. The book deals with challenging emotional events as the main character, Gypsy, copes with her grandfather’s Alzheimer’s disease. The fantastical nature of the story offers for light moments in the narrative. No registration necessary. 413-736-4561. 511 Main St, West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, March 8, 6pm
ROBOTICS
Along with flying cars, robots are a common theme in past movies depicting the future. Although robotic servants are not a common fixture in homes, humans have made large strides in the field of robotics and will likely continue building on those ideas for research purposes as well as the invention of household products and entertainment devices. Come to the Sunderland Public Library to build your own mini robot! 413-665-2642. 20 School St, Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, March 8, 6pm
CONVERSATIONAL FRENCH
While reading, writing, and listening to another language can be helpful in the process of learning, nothing compares to speaking conversationally. Fluent French speakers and those trying to learn are invited to engage in casual conversation at the Cushman Library. Learning a new language is not only a great challenge for your brain, it can provide insight into a culture other than the one with which you are most familiar. Languages often have unique, untranslatable words, which can tell us about the priorities and experiences of people in that culture. The French word “dépaysement,” for example, describes a complex feeling of disorientation and bewilderment that comes from experiencing a foreign environment. 28 Church St, Bernardston, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, March 8, 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. This informal race series is sponsored by the Berkshire Trail Nordic Ski Club. Throughout the season, there will be a mix of both classical and freestyle races, at 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 8, 6:30pm-8pm
SEED STARTING
With an increasingly globalized and industrial food supply in the United States, it can be difficult to track where your food comes from, and dubious to trust those sources. The best way to know exactly where you food comes from is to plant it yourself! And with growing research showing that the presence of flowers and other plants has a positive impact on mood there is more than one reason to learn to garden and farm. For novices, though, this task can feel daunting. Attend a seed starting workshop at River Valley Co Op to increase your confidence and get started. Registration is required. Please call: 413-584-2665. 330 North King Street, Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, March 8, 7:00pm
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
How do you design a physical landscape to encourage visitors but discourage littering? What kind of signage and facilities might help protect the lands? These are the questions being entertained by community members invested in preserving the Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. Two graduate students of the Conway School of Landscape Design have already begun a project with Arcadia staff that will include a conservation and habitat management plan. You are invited to learn about proposed measures to the space and make your own suggestions about how to prevent misuse of this land. Get involved with your community, meet other nature lovers and help preserve a local resource for hands-on learning. Arcadia Visitor Center. 127 Combs Road. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

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

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

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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Wednesday, March 9, 10am-4pm
FLOWER 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 College botanical gardens. Flower show hours:10:00 am to 4:00 pm daily. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays extended hours: 4:00 to 8:00 pm. 413-585-2740. 16 College Ln, Northampton, MA. (DONATION)

Wednesday, March 9, 10am-4pm
FLOWER 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 Mount Holyoke College botanical gardens will be open, displaying Spring flowers. Start off your Spring celebration off with all your favorite fragrant plants, including hyacinths, narcissus, pansies, freesia, primroses, and canary broom. 413-538-2116. Open to the public. Wheelchair accessible. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, March 9, 3pm-4:30pm
SCREEN FREE/ANTI TECH DAY
March 6th through March 12th is “Teen Tech Week” in the library world. But at the Westfield Athanaeum, teens will be celebrating unconventionally with “anti tech day!” In moderation, technology can have a positive impact on teenagers’ creativity, learning, and motivation. However, too much screen time can be detrimental to their attention, sleep, and even their ability to read emotions. At this anti-tech program, teenagers will be able to socialize and engage in screen free games and activities. Hopefully the screen break will relax participants and enable them to feel more engaged in the moment. Registration is required. Boys and Girls Activity Room. 6 Elm St, Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, March 9, 10:30am
FAMILY CENTER GRAND OPENING
Community involvement can help your child make friends, increase self esteem, and build social skills to help him or her adapt to all kinds of new environments in the future. For parents, getting out and meeting community members can help ease the difficulty of parenting through solidarity, friendship, and possibly even a network of babysitters. For this reason, Springfield parents should take advantage of the Square One Family Center. With programs, events, and workgroups for parents and children, both you and your children will feel more connected to and supported by your community. Come to the grand opening to learn more about the free programs this center offers. 413-732-5183. 1095 Main Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, March 9, 4pm-5pm
YOUNG WRITERS GROUP
What makes a good writer great? Practice. The younger you start, the better you’ll get. Aspiring writers between the ages of ten and fourteen are invited to work with author and teacher Nell Wright at the Greenfield Public Library. The workshop will meet every second and fourth Wednesday of the month during the school year. The group is limited to 8 participants. Please register by calling 413-772-1544 x 5. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, March 9, 5:30pm-7:45pm
CHESS
Chess requires complex planning skills, visual reasoning, and memory. Join us at the Greenfield Public Library for chess club. Contact calderrossi@gmail.com with any questions. The last Wednesday of each month will feature a speed chess tournament. 413-772-1544 x5. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, March 9, 5:30pm-7:30pm
CODING: PHP
PHP is a programming language which can be embedded into HTML code to make web pages more interactive. Using PHP can help you collect user-generated data from a webpage. If you already know HTML, come to this workshop at Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center and learn how to add forms to your webpages. After this introduction to PHP we will discuss relational databases and Javascript. We will also engage in a small project so you can test out what you’ve learned! Ages twelve and up.
Sponsored by Holyoke Codes . 413-552-4900. 100 Bigelow St, Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, March 9, 7pm
FILM STUDIES/GENDER STUDIES
As part of the Williams College film series “In / dependence: Capturing Women in (New) French Cinema,” you can attend a free screening of the 2013 French film La Religieuse / The Nun. All films screened in this series will be in French with English subtitles. Each film explores traditional gender roles in France, with portraits of women who preserve and subvert these roles. If you are able to attend multiple screenings in February and March, you will be able to compare a broad spectrum of French female experiences, from the eighteenth century to present day. Paresky Auditorium. Williams College. 880 Main Street, Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, March 9, 7pm
CLASSICAL MUSIC
There are many reasons why someone would want to commission a new musical piece: to support the arts in general or one composer in particular, to feel involved in the creation of a new piece of art, or for use in a film. At this Bay Path University talk, “Commissioning a Classical Concerto in the Digital Age,” you will hear from two modern composers, Kevin Rhodes and Kenneth Fuchs. You will hear excerpts from The Spiritualist, a piano concerto composed by Kenneth Fuchs and commissioned by the Springfield Symphony Orchestra. Come prepared with questions as both Rhodes and Fuchs will end this talk with a question and answer session. Mills Theatre, Carr Hall. 588 Longmeadow St, Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, March 9, 7pm
CHINESE HISTORY THROUGH FILM
Learn about Chinese history and culture without even leaving your house! You can register now for this free webinar presented by Dr. Sue Tuohy of Indiana University. Dr. Tuohy’s areas of research focus include East Asian music and folklore, Chinese culture, ethnicity, nationalism, and tourism. This lecture will focus on Chinese culture as it is portrayed through Chinese films. Using film as a means to study culture opens up many avenues of exploration since films are visual and auditory. Films can tell us about various cultures’ values, social norms, fashion, music, and even diet. 413-585-3751. Register on the Five College Center for East Asian Studies site. Online. (FREE)

Wednesday, March 9, 7pm-9pm
RENEWABLE ENERGY
How many types of renewable energy can you name? Wind and solar power are two commonly known sources. Biomass energy comes from plant material and animal waste. At this UMass Amherst library event, “Renewables are Ready,” presenter Pat Hynes will educate attendees about the many sources of renewable energy and how they could potentially fit into an energy efficient future.W.E.B. Du Bois Library. Floor 26.154 Hicks Way. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, March 9, 6pm- 7:30pm
METEOROLOGY
People who live in New England often talk about how unpredictable the weather is, and yet, there is a science dedicated to predicting the weather. Even in New England, meteorologists can tell you what you can expect from the weather. Today’s workshop is the first of a three part series about the weather. At this class you will learn about forecasting basics and the severe weather patterns which affect Western Massachusetts. This event is sponsored by Southern Hilltown Adult Education Center located in Gateway High School. Room 152. 12 Littleville Rd. Huntington, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, March 9, 8pm
WOMEN & WRITING
Muriel Rukeyser once posed this challenge: “What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open.” The Powder Keg Sessions is a women’s writing workshop at the Ramsell library, where women come together to share their truths. The workshops are run by Suzi Banks Baum, an author, artist, and mother who teaches classes on nurturing the habit of daily writing. Come see what writing can do for you, and what your writing can do for others. 413- 274-3738. 1087 Main St, Housatonic, MA. (FREE)

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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 10, 2016

Thursday, March 10, 10am-11am
STORYTIME/STEAM
Photography is one example of a technological advancement which is both an art and a science. Without a knowledge of chemical interactions, humans would not have been able to capture images. And yet, the act of developing a photograph also requires an aesthetic interest in how the image appears. This Little Explorers Storytime at the Westfield Athenaeum will show kids ages 4-6 the importance of both science and art with a story, STEM activities, and a craft. Bringing your young child to this event will open them up to a host of potential interests, both scientific and artistic. Registration required. 413-562-6158, ext. 5. Boys and Girls Activity Room, 6 Elm Street, Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, March 10, 2pm-5pm
MOM AND BABY FAIR
New moms have so much to learn: about babyproofing, breast feeding, food safety, the list goes on and on. Whether you’re a brand new mom or you have multiple children, you can learn about the first year of child development, get fast facts about immunizations and even have a longer chat with pediatricians. This Community Health Program event will also feature a diaper derby, and a baby basket raffle. Meet other new and expecting mothers. 442 Stockbridge Road. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, March 10, 3pm-5pm
MAKERSPACE/3D PRINTING
3D printers are a type of industrial robot. At a time when the vast majority of products are manufactured outside of the home, by companies, 3D printing allows even laymen to be more involved in the industrial process. Teenagers interested in learning how to use a 3D printer, and finding out how it works, should come to the Westfield Athanaeum. Participants will print a 3D selfie. No experience necessary. This program is part of “Teen Tech Week,” a nationwide project connecting teenagers with technological programs through libraries. 413-499-9480. 6 Elm St, Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, March 10, 3pm-5pm
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 families. Meet at the Bridge Street School to discuss the joys and challenges of parenting. Open to parents with 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 10, 3pm-5pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES
This week during Youth Art Month at The Clark Art Institute, fourth to eighth graders will learn about and make self portraits. “Selfies” may be a daily occurrence in some kid’s lives, but those kids can still benefit from capturing their image the old fashioned way. Making art provides people new ways of looking at the world and analyzing their lives and selves. For that reason it is no surprise that so many artists over the centuries have gravitated toward self portraits. Children must be accompanied by an adult. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA ($. Free for children under 18)

Thursday, March 10, 3:30pm-4:30pm
MAKER LAB
What can you make out of paper tubes? Bird feeders, binoculars, and all sorts of crafts can be made out of paper towel tubes. Today’s crafts will be a surprise, but participants ages six and up are invited to use their imaginations and collaborative skills to turn this household item into something special. This is part of a monthly maker lab series at the West Springfield Public Library. 413-736-4561. 511 Main Street, West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, March 10, 4:15pm
LECTURE: VIRTUAL REALITY
The concept of “virtual reality,” an immersive form of media which replicates the real world, first came about in science fiction novels in the 1950s. Virtual reality has a wide range of possible uses and forms, including entertainment, education, and therapy. Today, virtual reality products do exist, but are still not yet widespread in their popularity. In this lecture, “Virtual Reality: The Actuality of ‘Total Cinema,” Morgan S. McGuire will discuss modern forms of virtual reality. McGuire teaches computer science at Williams College. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, March 10, 5:30pm-8:30pm
CELEBRATE SPRINGFIELD/COMMUNITY MEAL
Join us for the 5th annual “Celebrate Springfield” dinner to learn about and support your thriving community. Proceeds from this event will support the work of Develop Springfield, a project working for neighborhood revitalization. This event will include a silent auction. Purchase tickets at the Develop Springfield website. 413-209-8808. Mass Mutual Center 1277 Main St, Springfield, MA ($$$)

Thursday, March 10, 6pm
CHILDRENS THEATER/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 10, 6:30-7:30pm
SOCIAL ISSUES/GUN VIOLENCE
Gun violence and gun control are controversial topics warranting a great deal of media attention in the United States. Although people may disagree about the most effective means for eradicating gun violence, everyone wants to keep their children and themselves safe. This Crocker Farm School Parent Guardian Organization discussion will provide pertinent information about safe gun storage and the warning signs of suicide. One way to protect your children is to make a habit of asking other parents about guns in their homes. Children are killed each year through completely avoidable accidents involving guns. This event will take place at the Amherst Regional High School library. Anyone interested in learning about gun safety measures is welcome to attend. 413-362-1700. 21 Matoon St, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, March 10, 6:30pm-7:45pm
THEATER/CHILDREN’S MUSICAL
The Music Man is an award winning, broadway play from 1957. This comedic romance centers around Harold Hill, a man who tries to con his town, planning to steal the money they provide for a boys’ band he does not actually plan to organize. The Music Man Junior adapts this play for young adults, keeping all the humor and charm and making the story family friendly for players and audience. This play won the 2013 Drama Desk Award, Outstanding Revival of a Play. This production will be performed by area youth between the ages of nine and fifteen. This is the sixth annual Academy Youth Production show. Audience members who have seen The Music Man can compare the changes in this production. Doors open at 6pm. Call 413-584-9032 ext.105 to purchase tickets. 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA (<$)

Thursday, March 10, 6:30pm
ANGLING
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 and fly fishing. He will teach participants techniques for fishing in the North Quabbin. Come to the Pelham Library to learn how to catch trophy bass and late trout, among other types of fish. 413-253-0657. 2 South Valley Rd. Pelham, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, March 10, 6:30-8pm
LANGUAGE ARTS/NATURE POETRY
What do Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, John Keats, and Samuel Coleridge have in common? They wrote poetry, and specifically, they wrote poetry about nature. The list of poets who write about nature is much longer than this, of course. It spans the history of poetry until the present. Why are so many people attracted to both nature and poetry? This is a complex question with several possible answers. If you are a nature poet or fan of nature poetry, you may have your own theories. Bring your ideas and your favorite nature poems to the Meekins Library for a nature poetry gathering. Read, listen, and enjoy snacks provided by the library. 413-268-7472. 2 Williams St, Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, March 10, 4pm
DIVERSITY/FILM
Coming Together is an Amherst-based organization which seeks to bring community members together to explore the question: what can we do to dismantle racism? Coming Together has teamed up with the Jones Library to run a film and discussion series about this topic. For this meeting, we will screen a series of films which feature leaders in the Ferguson, Missouri community, as they discuss their efforts to address racism after the shooting of Michael Brown. For more information, please contact Janet Ryan at 413-259-3223. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, March 10, 7pm
MUSIC/TRAVEL STORIES
The Great Plains in Western parts of America offer a different kind of beauty than we see here in New England. In the West, vast stretches of flat land make it possible to see far ahead of you. Some areas also have a relatively low degree of light pollution, giving way to miraculous views of the stars. Musician Marc Berger was born in the East, but he has traveled to the West extensively and used this experience to inspire his song cycle, “Ride.” Come to the Holyoke Public Library to hear Marc’s travel inspired stories and songs. 250 Chestnut Street, Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, March 10, 7pm
WOMEN’S HISTORY/US POLITICS
Did you know that Eleanor Roosevelt dreaded becoming first lady? Today, first lady of the United States is a prestigious role and first ladies use their positions of power to influence political change. When FDR became president in 1932, however, the position of first lady was a restricted and domestic role. You can celebrate Women’s History Month by learning more about the woman who redefined what it means to be first lady. Donald Blais will present this historical lecture at the Palmer Historical and Cultural Center. Donations are appreciated. 2072 Main Street, Three Rivers, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, March 10, 7:30pm
FILM SCREENING: Love Marriage in Kabul
Love is a universal concept, central to the human experience across all cultures, nationalities and ethnicities. Institutions such as marriage, however, vary greatly across cultures and are influenced by societal forces such as religion and politics. This film follows three main characters. There is Mahboba Rawi, an Afghan-Australian who dedicates her life to helping orphans in Afghanistan. She adopts an orphan named Abdu. Rawi attempts to prevent an arranged marriage, and attempts to help Abdul marry the love of his life, Fatemah. Fatemah wants to marry Abdul, but her father requires a dowry which Abdul cannot afford. Following this screening, director Palangi will join via Skype for a question and answer session. Purchase tickets on the MASS MoCA website. Club B10. 413-662-2111. 87 Marshall St, North Adams, 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 11, 2016

Friday, March 11, 2pm-3:30pm
COOPERATIVE GAMES
As part of the youth programming at the Northfield Public Library, kids and young adults are invited to engage in some friendly competition and work on their hand eye coordination with several short games. Participants will be challenged to keep balloons in the air, and move a cookie from their head to their mouths with no hands. 115 Main St, Northfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, March 11, 3:30pm-5:30pm
CREATIVE FREE PLAY
Young children and pets have at least one thing in common. You can buy them an expensive present, but there is a good chance they would prefer to play with the box it came in. And what’s wrong with that? Children have immense, innate capacities for imaginative play. Unscheduled, free play may seem frivolous, but this is how children learn. Bring your children to a “Box Party” at the Cummington Family Center and find out what their imaginations will build. Will the box become a house? A spaceship? A car? 2 Main Street. Cummington, MA. (FREE)

Friday, March 11, 4pm-8pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES: HANDS-ON
Some artists lament that “everything has been done before,” while others feel inspired, rather than daunted, by the art of the world. On this afternoon of free activities at the Smith College Museum of Art, creative people of all ages will draw inspiration from the exhibitions and apply these ideas to a hands-on project. Participants will build a sculpture out of cardboard. Following this activity there will be a guided tour and a 7pm screening of the film Kuhle Wampe (Who Owns The World)? (1932) This German film tells the story of a family in Berlin through a fragmented narrative. 413-585-2760. 20 Elm St, Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Friday, March 11, 6pm
LECTURE: PARENTING/EMOTION
Most problematic behaviors in children can be traced back to an emotion: sadness, anger, jealousy, fear, or even positive emotions like excitement. In childhood, we make huge strides in learning how to regulate emotions- an important skill we will need every day of our lives. In this presentation, “The Emotional Life of Children,” Lawrence J. Cohen will discuss his solutions to behavior problems and his methods for encouraging confidence in children. Cohen has published two books about childhood and parenting: Playful Parenting, and The Opposite of Worry. He has worked with both children and parents, consulted in schools, and currently runs a psychotherapy practice. McConnell Theater. Bard College at Simon’s Rock. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, March 11, 6:30pm-7:45pm
THEATER/CHILDREN’S MUSICAL
The Music Man is an award winning, broadway play from 1957. This comedic romance centers around Harold Hill, a man who tries to con his town, planning to steal the money they provide for a boys’ band he does not actually plan to organize. The Music Man Junior adapts this play for young adults, keeping all the humor and charm and making the story family friendly for players and audience. This play won the 2013 Drama Desk Award, Outstanding Revival of a Play. This production will be performed by area youth between the ages of nine and fifteen. This is the sixth annual Academy Youth Production show. Audience members who have seen The Music Man can compare the changes in this production. Doors open at 6pm. Call 413-584-9032 ext.105 to purchase tickets. 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA (<$)

Friday March 11, 7pm
WOMEN’S HISTORY/LOCAL HISTORY
Laws governing the rights of married women were changing in the late 1800s. Women who entered into a business in their own names were required to register these businesses with the Town or City Clerk. Sara Campbell and Shari Strahan have digitized the records found at the Greenfield Town Clerk’s vault and analyzed them to see how they fit into local history. There were a wide range of endeavors, from farming to retail shops to manufacturing. Who were these women? Why did they do what they did? Using historic newspapers, business directories, census and vital records Sara and Shari will retell these forgotten stories of enterprising women in our region. Make sure you pre-register online . GCC Downtown, 270 Main Street . 413-775-1661. Greenfield, MA ($)

Friday, March 11, 7pm-8:30pm
OPEN MIC MUSIC
All singers and musicians are welcome to sign up at 6:30pm for an open mic at Spectrum Playhouse. This unique venue provides a space for young adults with learning differences to explore their creative interests. Come to the Spectrum Playhouse to hear these musicians, and learn more about the theatre productions, concerts, lectures and other events hosted by this community center. 20 Franklin Street, Lee, MA. (<$. Free for performers)

Friday, March 11, 7pm-9pm
ACOUSTIC MUSICAL DUO
Every month, the Great Falls Discovery Center hosts an evening of coffee and music. Refreshments are available and the museum is open during intermission. Check out this museum of natural, cultural, and industrial history, and hear musical duo Keith Murphy and Becky Tracy. They will play traditional from Newfoundland, Quebec, Ireland, France and beyond. Brush up on your French, as some of the lyrics incorporate not only the musical traditions but also the French language. 413- 863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

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

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

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Hilltown Families’ list of Weekly Suggested Events is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Belchertown, Buckland, Chicopee, Colrain, 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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