Suggested Events for March 12th-18th, 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. Do you have a summer camp or program you want to let our reader know about? Find out more about this targeted marketing opportunity HERE.

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

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.

Bulletin Board

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

Mar 12-19

Downtown Amherst’s First Restaurant Week March 12-19. Culinary creatives at over ten venues are offering a range of specials including three course prix fixe dinners and special deals. Take your taste buds on a trip to this fun, family-friendly town. Sample New England Oysters with a Craft Cocktail, Pork Schnitzel and Hand Cut Fries with a locally brewed beer for $15, Corned Beef Specials on St. Patrick’s Day, Marinated Eggplant Tagine, Winter Trifle made with Hazelnut Cake, Poached Apple and Honey Ricotta, Saffron Chicken with Sour Cherry Rice. Information on participating restaurants and their specials and menus can be found at: www.amherstdowntown.com.

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.

Mar 20

Piti Theatre Co. presents their 7th annual SYRUP: One Sweet Performing Arts Festival at Memorial Hall, Shelburne Falls on Sun., March 20, featuring Puppetkabob’s The Snowflake Man at 4pm. Winner of puppetry’s highest award, Sarah Frechette tells the story of farmer-scientist “Snowflake” Bentley, the first person to photograph a single snow crystal in the 1920’s. Plus Piti Theatre’s all ages world premiere Olde Coleraine: a Musical Hilltown History at 2pm, horse and cart rides, syrup-tasting, free Real Pickles, maple treats, Pop-up Puppet Workshop (pre-registration recommended), and more! Tix $12/$5 children under 12 at Boswell’s Books, S.F., World Eye Bookshop in Greenfield and online at www.ptco.org/syrup. info@ptco.org, 413-625-6569

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 12-18, 2016

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

Donate Now Events Happening in the Hilltowns

Saturday, March 12

Ongoing Saturday Events

Hilltown Family Variety Show9-10am – HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW: Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org. Get ready to get up, get down and get FUNKY! Guest DJ, Boom from Sugar Free Allstars hosts a show all about funk, soul and R&B (Rhythm & Blues) music. You won’t be able to sit still while listening to this one, so grab your dance shoes, it’s time to get this party started! 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 12, all day
LOCAL FOOD/LOCAL ECONOMY/RESTAURANT WEEK
Is there an Amherst restaurant you’ve been meaning to try? Stop in to participating businesses March 12 through March 19th for special menu items and deals. Participants include Johnny’s Tavern, Bistro 63, Moti, Chez Albert, 30 Boltwood and Osperia Vespa. Check out the Amherst Business Improvement District website for more information. Support local businesses and reconnect with friends and family over a plate of delicious food, perfect for sharing. Amherst, MA. ($ – $$)

Saturday, March 12, 8am-11:30am
MAPLE COMMUNITY BREAKFAST
Can you name a North American agricultural practice which did not originate from Europe? The process of maple sugaring is one of the few. Celebrate New England history and the upcoming Spring season at the Buckland Public Library with a community pancake breakfast! Enjoy locally sourced syrup and meet maple sugar harvesters. Alan Young will be selling his handcrafted wooden spoons. Purington Maple and Tree Farm will be selling their maple syrup. At this intergenerational event you can meet your neighbors and discuss seasonal traditions in anticipation of Spring. 413-625-9412. 30 Upper St, Buckland, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 12, 9am-1pm
LOCAL FOOD/FARMERS’ MARKET
Come to the Downtown Pittsfield Winter Farmers Market at the Boys’ and Girls’ Club Lighthouse Cafe. Shop for pasture-raised meats, eggs, cheese, fruits, vegetables, breads, baked goods, coffee, wine, art, and more. This is an opportunity to teach your kids where and how food is grown in Western Mass. Enjoy live music at 11:30am. 16 Melville Street, Pittsfield, MA. (MARKET/SALE)

Saturday, March 12, 9:30am-4pm
IRISH HISTORY AND CULTURAL CELEBRATION
Irish step-dancing combines the quick foot movements of tap dancing with a stiff upper body and traditional costumes. Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day early at Old Sturbridge Village and you will see this traditional Irish dance for yourself. You will also hear Irish music and learn the difference between a jig and reels. Historians will discuss early 19th century Irish immigration and Irish American culture. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. ($)

Saturday, March 12, 9:30am-4pm
MAPLE SUGARING/LIVING HISTORY
Maple sugaring is a centuries-old tradition in New England, and the seasonal industry remains an important part of the foundation upon which local agricultural is built. The production of maple syrup is historically important in part because it is one of few North American agricultural processes that is not a European colonial import. The sugar season is weather dependent since the sap needs to thaw in order for it to be harvested. Sugaring, therefore, is not only a historic tradition and a part of industry; sugar harvesting signals that Spring is near! Come to Old Sturbridge Village on a Maple Day in March to witness maple harvesting techniques, including methods employed by Native Americans, early 19th and 20th century techniques, and contemporary tubing. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. ($)

Saturday, March 12, 9am-2pm
CONSERVATION/ECOLOGICAL MANAGEMENT
Learn about the conservation efforts, nature-based research techniques, and ecological management that is going on all around you in the pioneer valley. The presentations in this Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary symposium will provide audiences with a place-based method for learning about habitat, biology, and geology, including plant and soil sciences. Presenters will cover topics such as the whitetail deer population of Hadley, conservation of the Connecticut River forests, shrub land habitats and invasive species. This event is best suited for adults and self-directed teens. Please call 413-584-3009 to register by phone. 127 Combs Rd, Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 12, 9am-12pm
COMMUNITY SERVICE/EASTER
The Easthampton Community Center needs your help to stuff 18,000 eggs for our Egg Hunt (on March 19)! See how many eggs you can stuff. What are the odds your child will find one of the eggs she assembled? It depends how many she stuffs and how many she finds! 413-527-5240. 12 Clark St, Easthampton, MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Saturday, March 12, 10am
MAPLE SUGARING
You and your family can learn about maple sugaring while checking out the art and natural history exhibits at the Berkshire Museum. In the Learner’s Lab, visitors will find out how to collect and process their own maple syrup. Maple sugaring is a centuries-old tradition in New England, and the seasonal industry remains an important part of local culture. Learning how to collect maple syrup is a way to interact with the past and present of New England community. 39 South St, Pittsfield, MA. ($. Under 18 <$)

Saturday, March 12, 10am-11am
MUSIC STUDIES/SINGING
Come to the first meeting of singing classes at the Easthampton Public Library to write songs with friends and neighbors. Practice makes perfect, but first you need to know how to practice without putting unnecessary strain on your vocal chords. Singers can trade tips on healthy vocal technique while improvising and composing songs together. Join now, and you can help determine the direction of this new group. Maybe you will meet your next band mate! 9 Park St. Easthampton MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 12, 10am-11:10am
FAMILY FILM
It’s hard enough to lose a family member. It’s only more difficult if there is any mystery around the circumstances of their passing. In this Academy Award nominated 2010 film, A Cat In Paris (PG), Zoe’s father has been murdered. Her mother, a detective, tries to find out what happened to him. Once Zoe starts following her cat Dino around the streets of Paris, she finds out that he may be able to help her find answers. After viewing the film at Amherst Cinema, Parents and children can discuss the importance of closure, mystery as a genre in film, and similarities or differences in French versus American film. 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (<$)

Saturday, March 12, 10am-12pm
ANIMAL TRACKING
You can learn about animal behavior even without directly observing animals. Tracks lend clues to animal activity. In this outdoor adventure you can look for the spots where animal tracks begin and end. What happened? Did the animal climb up a tree? Scurry under a bush? Was it a bird that flew away? Bring your children aged 8 and up and join instructor Rick Prew for a trek around Lime Kiln Farm Wildlife Sanctuary. Registration is required. Please call 413-637-0320. Silver Street. Sheffield, MA. (<$)

Saturday, March 12, 10am-12pm
WOMEN’S TRACKING WORKSHOP
Through agriculture and trade, humans have expanded their diets to the point where you can start your day off with a cup of coffee from another continent! Local wildlife, on the other hand, sustain themselves from nutrients that are available right where they live. You can learn more about local wildlife, and the habitat that sustains them, at this tracking workshop. Join other women and tracking veteran Roan Katahdin, at the William Cullen Bryant Homestead to look for signs of your animal neighbors. Register at 413-628-4485 x3. 207 Bryant Rd, Cummington, MA. (Members FREE. Nonmembers $)

Saturday, March 12, 10am-12pm
FAMILY DANCE PARTY
Dancing is one of the most fun forms of exercise imaginable. It requires listening, movement, and creative improvisation while at the same time it is a social activity. Dancing connects friends and family to each other as well as to the music. You and your children are invited to the 5th Annual Family Dance Party to take place at Jackson Street School. In addition to music and dancing there will be games, face painting, and a bake sale. All proceeds benefit the Nonotuck Community School. 120 Jackson St. 413-586-5996. Northampton, MA. (DONATION)

Saturday March 12, 10am-12pm
FOLK TRADITIONS/SLAVIC EGG DECORATING
People of all ages are invited to learn about Slavic egg decorating and decorate their own Easter eggs. Egg decorating is an important part of the cultures of Poland, Croatia, Ukraine, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. People across nations and cultures have found eggs to be an aesthetically pleasing decorative object, symbolizing the possibility and hope of new life. Egg decorating also differs in technique across cultures. In this egg decorating workshop at Ventfort Hall Mansion you will learn specifically about Slavic methods through demonstration and instruction. For adults and children age 12 and up. 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street. Lenox, MA. ($$)

Saturday, March 12, 10am-1pm
SERVICE-BASED LEARNING/5K RUN AND HEALTH FAIR
Did you make a New Year’s Resolution to eat healthier foods or exercise more? Beyond eating and exercise, there is another, often overlooked component of mental and physical health: community. The people in our lives who we share meals with can have a huge impact on what we choose to eat. Get together with your health conscious neighbors at this health fair in Look Park. At 11:00 we will kick off the Western Area Massachusetts Dietetic Association 5K run/walk. Cheer on the runners and support their efforts to benefit The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. 300 N Main St. Florence, MA. (DONATION)

Saturday, March 12, 10am-2pm
LOCAL FOOD/FARMERS’ MARKET
Explore the sometimes surprising bounty of the winter harvest, and explore other wonderful, local delights such as honey, breads, pastries, cheeses, jewelry, and more at the Amherst Winter Farmers’ Market, which runs most Saturdays through April 2, 2016. SNAP accepted throughout the market. Amherst Regional Middle School, 170 Chestnut Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 12, 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 12, 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 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)

Saturday, March 12, 10am-4pm
AVIATION HISTORY
What is it like to sit in the cockpit of a “Huey” helicopter, a Starfighter, or a Super Sabre jet? Find out at Open Cockpit day at the New England Air Museum! Visitors will be invited into three large hangars to view and explore a variety of aircraft. Aviation pioneer Howard Bunce will be at the museum from 11am-3pm to talk to visitors and share his adventures. At the age of 17, Bunce built his own airplane. What an inspiring person with whom to converse! There will also be a hands-on build and fly challenge, remote controlled plane demos, and flight simulators. 860-623-3305. Perimeter Road, Windsor Locks, CT. ($; FREE for children 3 and under)

Saturday, March 12, 10:30am
LANGUAGE ARTS/STORYTELLING
David Grayson achieved a different kind of success than authors like Sylvia Plath, Emily Dickinson, Plato and Kafka. Grayson was extremely popular during his lifetime but is not well known today. He wrote transcendental essays, inspired by nature, similarly to the more enduring authors Emerson and Thoreau. The name David Grayson is a pseudonym. The real man managed to hide behind it for years during his lifetime. In this presentation at the Jones Library, you will hear three storytellers claiming to be Grayson, and have the chance to guess which one speaks accurately about the man’s life. This is a fun way to start the weekend, for lovers of literature, fame, and mystery. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 12, 10:30am
FOLK TRADITION/SHADOW PUPPETRY
Shadow puppetry may seem like a simple activity, but it’s actually rather impressive and a great activity to teach to children. Successfully turning your hand’s shadow into a dog or a duck requires visuospatial reasoning and dexterity. The Toe Jam Puppet Band has been performing musical shows with shadow puppetry since 2000. They will be performing at the Jones Library for children aged 4 to 10 and their families. Come ready to sing and dance. The Toe Jam Puppet Band shows are hands on and highly interactive. Woodbury Room. 43 Amity St, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

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

Saturday, March 12, 10:30am-3pm
MUSIC STUDIES/SONGWRITING FOR TEENS
Join folk singer-songwriter Hayley Reardon at Ashfield Community Hall for a songwriting workshop with other teen musicians. This workshop will cover the basics of getting started and understanding chordal song structure, as well as the more personal aspects of self expression through music. Songwriting can help teens work through emotional experiences and have fun in a collaborative environment. Playing an instrument, in general, is great for the brain. Combined with the creative act composing, playing music can be a truly transformative experience. Feel free to bring song ideas if you have them. This workshop is limited to fifteen participants. Please register by emailing blazingstarclinic@gmail.com. 521 Main Street. Ashfield, MA. ($$)

Saturday, March 12, 11am
TEA AND CANVAS
Sip tea with friends and neighbors at the Grace Hall Memorial Library, and leave with a beautiful work of art you made yourself. You will be shown step by step how to create the painting,”Spring Chickadees.” Gain inspiration and techniques which you can apply to your own independent painting in the future. Please register by calling 413-862-3894. 161 Main Road. Montgomery, MA. ($)

Saturday, March 12, 11am-2pm
MAPLE SUGAR HARVESTING
Maple sugaring is a centuries-old tradition in New England, and the seasonal industry remains an important part of the foundation upon which local agricultural is built. The production of maple syrup is historically important in part because it is one of few North American agricultural processes that is not a European colonial import. The sugar season is weather dependent since the sap needs to thaw in order for it to be harvested. Sugaring, therefore, is not only a historic tradition and a still thriving part of industry; sugar harvesting signals that Spring is near! At Williams College’s Maplefest, you will be able to try your hand at tapping a tree and gathering sap. You will witness every step in the sugaring process right down to bottling the final product. This event is free to the public and appropriate for people of all ages; it will be held regardless of the weather. Transportation will be provided from Chapin Hall on the hour. Office of communications: 413-597-4277. Hopkins Forest, (at the junction of Bulkley Street and Northwest Hill Road in Williamstown). Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 12, 12pm-2pm
MUSIC/CULTURE/CELTIC HARPIST
Learning how to play the Celtic harp requires considerable hours of practice. Harps have a long lasting resonance, therefore many songs require players not only to pluck the strings but to quickly dampen the strings they don’t want resonating. Come to River Valley Co Op and see this technique in action as Jesse Doane plays her Celtic harp. With St. Patrick’s Day around the corner, this event is a great way to start your celebrations, and could possibly instill a newfound interest in traditional Irish music. 330 N King St. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 12, 12pm-2:30pm
MUSIC/CULTURE/CELTIC DANCE
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day early at the Guiding Star Grange. You’ll learn about leprechauns, hear live Celtic music and even learn a Ceili dance. There will be Irish themed games and a dress up corner. It’s one thing to listen to a cultural lecture, and another to participate in cultural activities. Participants will likely learn a great deal from this fun, interactive event. All ages welcome. 401 Chapman Street. Greenfield, MA. ($)

Saturday, March 12, 1pm
BOOK TALK AND SIGNING
Author Gareth Hinds is part of a growing movement of writers reenvisioning classic texts in graphic novel format. His illustrated versions of The Odyssey, Romeo and Juliet, and Macbeth are not only entertaining; they provide young readers with an important resource for understanding their required reading books. Gareth Hinds also entertains and educates through his historical graphic novels. During this talk at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Hinds will discuss his career and give a drawing demonstration. He will also show illustrations from his latest work,Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune (written by Pamela S. Turner) and sign copies. This talk is free with the regular cost of museum admission. Recommended for ages 12 and up. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. ($)

Saturday, March 12, 1pm-4pm
POLISH HERITAGE
Drop in at the Westfield Athenaeum for a celebration of Polish culture with accordion music, a children’s dance troupe, a raffle, refreshments, and a film. At 1pm Father Joe Soltysiak of St. Joseph’s Church will give a short opening talk and soon after, Stas Radosz, of the Polish Center of Discovery and Learning will deliver the keynote address. Before, after, or during the celebration you are invited to check out the art gallery’s exhibit of Wycinanki. Wycinanki is a Slavic form of papercut art which most likely originated in Ukraine. Polish visitors can exchange memories and traditions with their neighbors, while those not of Polish origin will learn a great deal about Polish culture. 413-568-7833. 6 Elm St. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 12, 1pm-4pm
WOODWORKING/CHEESE MAKING/SKILLSHARING
Learn basic woodworking and be on your way to cultivating homemade cheese! Come to Countryside Woodcraft where owner Ron Hess will teach you how to make a cheese press. You will need to work as a team for this project, so please sign up with a friend. Space is limited. Please register by calling the Southern Hilltowns Adult Education Center at 413-685-1052. 655 Huntington Rd. Russell, MA. (FREE to Hilltown residents)

Saturday, March 12, 1:30pm
FIBER ARTS/FELTING
Teens and tweens are invited to the Pelham Library where fiber artist Andrea Allees will teach how to needle felt a small purse. This is a two part workshop occurring on March 12 and March 18. Attendance both days is a must. Participants will learn basic felting and some more advanced techniques, and leave with a cute and practical accessory. Once you master needle felting you will be free to make an array of felted objects including decorative items and even jewelry. 2 South Valley Road. Pelham, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 12, 2pm
LOCAL HISTORY/MILL RIVER FLOD
The Mill River flood of 1874 is a significant event in western Massachusetts history, particularly affecting the mill villages of Williamsburg, Skinnerville, Haydenville and Leeds. Elizabeth Sharpe, author of In the Shadow of the Dam: The Aftermath of the Mill River Flood of 1874 is an expert on this event. She will be giving an illustrated lecture on the topic at Historic Northampton. Elizabeth Sharpe has both a historical and personal interest in the topic since the Mill River flood destroyed her great-great-grandfather’s shop. This tragic disaster was completely preventable and resulted from flaws in a reservoir dam. Sharpe will help attendees understand how this event fits into the fabric of our local environment. 46 Bridge Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 12, 3pm-4pm
EARLY CHILDHOOD STEM
Your child could be one of the first to play with the Westfield Athenaeum’s STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Match) kits for kids! The tools in these kits can help your child explore concepts of physics and chemistry while also playing creatively with other children. These kits are also great for kids in need of sensory outlets or sensory integration. Children will be able to play with a marble run track, bubble center, sensory tubes, fold-a-prism, and texture blocks. For children aged 3 to 6. 413-568-7833. 6 Elm St. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 12, 5pm
COMMUNITY MEAL
The mission of the Amherst Community Co Op is to create a cooperatively owned and operated grocery store stocked with locally sourced food. This organization hopes to begin planning for their build in June of this year. You can get involved in these exciting, early stages and help guide the direction of the store. Find out more about the co op including how to get involved at this potluck supper. Meet other community members interested in locally sourced foods, and share your recipes at the Shutesbury Athletic Club. 282 Wendell Rd, Shutesbury, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 12, 5:30pm
ART HISTORY/LIVING HISTORY
Vincent Van Gogh loved to paint portraits, but he could not afford to pay a professional to sit for his paintings. Luckily he had a friend, Joseph Roulin (the Postman), who not only sat for him but also convinced his wife and three kids to sit as well. At the Norman Rockwell Museum, actor Ted Zalewski will play the part of Roulin and from his perspective, tell the story of Van Gogh’s life. Learn about painting, friendship, and life in the late 19th century. Van Gogh’s life is an inspiring story of persistence, as he did not start painting until his late twenties. Van Gogh had a great impact on art history in spite of his lack of financial success. 9 MA-183. Stockbridge, MA. ($)

Saturday, March 12, 6:30pm
HISTORY/MATH: PI(E) DAY
How many digits of pi can you recite? Celebrate upcoming Pi Day with mathematical discussions…and pie! In early American cuisine, sweet and savory pies were an integral part of diet year-round. Pilgrims brought to America their practice of pie making and developed recipes with newly available ingredients. Robert Cox, head of special collections and archives at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and author of New England Pie: History Under A Crust can tell you a great deal more about pie during this free presentation at the Northfield Public Library. 413-498-2455. 115 Main St. Northfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 12, 7pm
SUSTAINABILITY/FILM
There are many ways to react to climate change. You can deny it. You can try to ignore it. You can feel paralyzed by fear and hopelessness. Or you can act! At the 6th annual Project Native Film Festival you will become a more informed citizen when it comes to this important topic. The first film of the evening, The Great Turning, presents an optimistic and action oriented view. Filmmaker Joanna Macy encourages her audience to step up to this great turning point in human history by transforming civilization. The second film to be screened, The Wisdom to Survive, analyzes the reactions of denial and paralysis. Both films urge audiences to act and provide avenues for change. Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center. 413-528-0100. 14 Castle St, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 12, 8:30pm
CHILDREN’S THEATER/MUSICAL
Shrek The Musical is a Tony Award-winning fairy tale adventure based on the Oscar-winning DreamWorks Animation Film. Featuring all new songs, this musical brings all the beloved characters 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. 413-739-4715. 1160 Dickinson Street,Springfield, MA. ($$)

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Sunday, March 13

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 13, all day
LOCAL FOOD/LOCAL ECONOMY/RESTAURANT WEEK
Is there an Amherst restaurant you’ve been meaning to try? Stop in to participating businesses March 12 through March 19th for special menu items and deals. Participants include Johnny’s Tavern, Bistro 63, Moti, Chez Albert, 30 Boltwood and Osperia Vespa. Check out the Amherst Business Improvement District website for more information. Support local businesses and reconnect with friends and family over a plate of delicious food perfect for sharing. Amherst, MA. ($ – $$)

Sunday, March 13, 9:30am-4pm
MAPLE SUGARING/LIVING HISTORY
Maple sugaring is a centuries-old tradition in New England, and the seasonal industry remains an important part of the foundation upon which local agricultural is built. The production of maple syrup is historically important in part because it is one of few North American agricultural processes that is not a European colonial import. The sugar season is weather dependent since the sap needs to thaw in order for it to be harvested. Sugaring, therefore, is not only a historic tradition and a local industry; sugar harvesting signals that Spring is near! Come to Old Sturbridge Village on a Maple Day in March to witness maple harvesting techniques, including Native American methods, early 19th-century and 20th century techniques, and contemporary tubing. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. ($)

Sunday, March 13, 9:30am-4pm
IRISH HISTORY/CULTURAL CELEBRATION
Irish step-dancing combines the quick foot movements of step dancing with a stiff upper body and traditional costumes. Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day early at Old Sturbridge Village and you will see this traditional Irish dance for yourself. You will also hear Irish music and learn the difference between a jig and reels. Historians will discuss early 19th century Irish immigration and Irish American culture. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. ($)

Sunday, March 13, 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 Collegebotanical 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 13, 10am-9pm
SUSTAINABILITY/FILM
There are many ways to react to climate change. You can deny it. You can try to ignore it. You can feel paralyzed by fear and hopelessness. Or you can act! At the 6th annual Project Native Film Festival you will become a more informed citizen when it comes to this important topic. On this, the final day of the festival, there will be a full day of wide ranging topics including conservation, animal cruelty, farming, coal companies, river ecosystems and the sale of illegal wildlife products. You can immerse yourself in every film, or just watch the ones you feel most passionate about. Either way you are bound to leave with new ideas about your relationship with the planet. 413-528-8885. Triplex Cinema. 70 Railroad St, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, March 13, 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 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 13, 11am-3pm
MAPLE SUGARING/MUSEUM ADVENTURES
At Storrowton Village Museum’s annual Maple Harvest Day you will learn about the historic tradition of maple sugaring through tree taping and sap boiling demonstrations. Maple sugaring is a centuries-old tradition in New England, and the seasonal industry remains an important part of the foundation upon which local agricultural is built. The sugar season is weather dependent since the sap needs to thaw in order for it to be harvested. Sugaring, therefore, is not only a historic tradition and a local industry; sugar harvesting signals that Spring is near! Celebrate the soon-to-come warmer weather with your fellow community members at the Gilbert Farmstead home while also enjoying open hearth cooking demonstrations. 413-205-5051. 1305 Memorial Ave, West Springfield, MA (<$-$)

Sunday, March 13, 12:30-3:30pm
PARENTS’ ART WORKSHOP
Children make art constantly, but parents can greatly benefit from the same stress-relieving artistic activities. In this workshop, Kidspace artist Jesse Fleming will teach arts-based activities which promote empathy among people of all ages. Join your neighbors and engage in the kinds of fun, group activities kids do at school or daycare. Childcare and lunch are provided. RSVP by March 11 to Amanda Tobin by emailing atobin@massmoca.org or 413.664.4481 x8165. 1040 MASS MoCA Way. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, March 13, 12:40pm and 12:55pm
DANCE STUDIES/BALLET
Using significant artistic liberties when it comes to the historical facts, Aram Khachaturian and Yuri Grigorovich’s ballet Spartacus tells the story of Spartacus’ slave uprising. Spartacus is forced to fight as a gladiator and kill one of his friends. The ballet was created in 1968 and has been popular ever since. You can screen The Bolshoi Ballet’s performance of Spartacus at theMahaiwe Performing Arts Center (14 Castle Street in Great Barrington) at 12:40 . Norton Owen, the director of preservation for Jacob’s Pillow Dance, will give a short pre-show talk to inform your experience of the performance. Hopefully this HD performance screening will instill in audiences a newfound interest in the real life Spartacus, and Russian theatre. There will also be a screening at Amherst Cinema (28 Amity Street) at 12:55. Call 413-528-0100 for Mahaiwe. Call 413-253-2547 for Amherst Cinema. 14 Castle St, Great Barrington, MA and Amherst, MA. ($)

Sunday March 13, 2pm
INTERGENERATIONAL CIRCUS
The Motion Man will be doing what he does best, lifting spirits through physical performance, at the Chesterfield Community Center. All are welcome! In his performances, the Motion Man uses physical comedy, magic, miming and illusion to entertain audiences of all ages. Bring your family and friends, and enjoy some laughs. The Motion Man may inspire children to learn any one of the Motion Man’s performance techniques (magic, mime, illusion) and more generally will show them how to blend art forms into something original and captivating. Any questions? Please email Kristen at chesterfieldcoanews@gmail.com. 400 Main Rd. Chesterfield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday March 13, 2pm
HISTORY/PERFORMANCE ART
Piti Theatre Co. presents their 7th annual SYRUP: One Sweet Performing Arts Festival. Piti Theatre’s all ages world premiere Olde Coleraine: a Musical Hilltown History at 2pm, horse and cart rides, syrup-tasting, free Real Pickles, maple treats, Pop-up Puppet Workshop (pre-registration recommended), and more! Plus, Puppetkabob’s The Snowflake Man at 4pm. Winner of puppetry’s highest award, Sarah Frechette tells the story of farmer-scientist “Snowflake” Bentley, the first person to photograph a single snow crystal in the 1920’s. 413-625-6569. Memorial Hall. Shelburne Falls, MA ($)

Sunday, March 13, 2pm
ART HISTORY/PICTURE BOOK ART
Looking at the artwork of Leonard Weisgard takes you on a journey through the history of children’s books from the forties all the way to the eighties. Although narrative and artistic trends evolved over these decades, Weisgard maintained a distinct illustration style which enchanted children across generations. He is best known for his collaborations with author Margaret Wise Brown. You can learn more about Leonard Weisgard’s work at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. At this gallery talk, guest curator Leonard S. Marcus will discuss the influence of cubism and modern design on Weisgard’s illustrations. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. (<$)

Sunday, March 13, 2pm-3pm
PHOTOGRAPHY/NATURE
Have you been thinking about improving your photography skills? Before you run out and buy an expensive camera, see what you can do with what you already have. Bring your smartphone and a seasoned photographer will show you the best settings, techniques, and apps to capture the rocky terrain of Bartholomew’s Cobble. Photography can be a great metaphor for attitude and personality. Two people can capture the same image with a completely different focus, even creating different moods from the same scene. See what your creative lens reveals. 413-229-8600. 117 Cooper Hill Rd, Sheffield, MA. ($)

Sunday, March 13, 2:30pm-3:30pm
CULINARY ARTS/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 part of a five week cooking class led by Lia P. Douillet on Sunday afternoons (March 6, 13, 20 & April 3 & 17). Bring your children between the ages of 10 to 13 and watch them grow into confident chefs! Call 413-229-7004 to register. 48 S Main St, Sheffield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, March 13, 3pm
MUSIC STUDIES/CHILDREN’S CHORUS
The South Hadley Children’s Chorus provides vocal training to girls and boys aged 7 and up. In doing so, the choral director instills confidence and a love of music in these young singers. You can be a part of this confidence-building education by contributing to the applause at their concert of soloists and orchestra at Mount Holyoke College. This is a great opportunity for parents whose children are interested in joining a chorus, and for parents who are interested in singing in their community. The South Hadley Chorale also has an adult choral program. 413-533-3833. Abbey Chapel. South Hadley, MA. ($. Students and children <$)

Sunday, March 13, 3pm
CHILDREN’S THEATER/MUSICAL
Shrek The Musical is a Tony Award-winning fairy tale adventure based on the Oscar-winning DreamWorks Animation Film. Featuring all new songs, this musical brings all the beloved characters 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. 413-739-4715. 1160 Dickinson Street,Springfield, MA. ($$)

Sunday, March 13, 3:30pm
MUSIC STUDIES/CULTURE/IRISH MUSIC
Beyond the obvious examples of U2, The Dropkick Murphys, and Sinead O’Connor, other Irish musicians have reached immense fame in America. Did you know that Van Morrison, as well as the members of The Cranberries, Snow Patrol, and Enya are Irish musicians? Irish and American music have similarities, leading to fans of each culture in both countries. Many residents of Massachusetts are of Irish origin, leading to a blend of Irish and American musical styles. You can celebrate St. Patrick’s Day early with Irish influenced music at Ventford Hall. “Rocks and Water” will perform their original music, influenced by Irish, folk, and bluegrass sounds. 104 Walker St, Lenox, MA. ($$)

Sunday, March 13, 5:30pm-8pm
COMMUNITY SINGING/COMMUNITY POTLUCK
The Earthdance barn will be bursting will the sound of community members singing gospel music, English country songs, African songs, Israeli peace songs, rounds, and more this Sunday. All ages and abilities are welcome. You do not need to know how to read music. Children are encouraged to come and participate, but there is also ample room for them to run around and play creatively with other children if they do not wish to sing or they need a break. After the community sing there will be a potluck supper. Share stories and recipes with your neighbors. 413-634-5678. 252 Prospect St. Plainfield, MA. (FREE)

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Monday, March 14

Monday March 14, all day
LOCAL FOOD/LOCAL ECONOMY/RESTAURANT WEEK
Is there an Amherst restaurant you’ve been meaning to try? Stop in to participating businesses March 12 through March 19th for special menu items and deals. Participants include Johnny’s Tavern, Bistro 63, Moti, Chez Albert, 30 Boltwood and Osperia Vespa. Check out the Amherst Business Improvement District website for more information. Support local businesses and reconnect with friends and family over a plate of delicious food perfect for sharing. Amherst, MA. ($ – $$)

Monday March 14, 11am-12pm
BABY AND ME GROUP
Meet local parents at The Family Center to relax and share experiences. It can be hard to meet other parents before your child enters a daycare or school program. Even if your child is in daycare, it is always good to expand your network of local parents. This is a casual event for any and all parents with children ages infants to walking. Drop by whenever you can during the hour. Transportation is available. Please call 413-663-6593 to set up child care. Haskins Community Center. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Monday, March 14, 4pm-6pm
GENEALOGY
Join us at the Holyoke Public Library for the second of four meetings in March on genealogy research. Dave Robison of Old Bones Genealogy has already covered the basics of using Ancestry Library Edition. In this meeting he will discuss common research pitfalls, and the use of census and immigration records. He will also show participants how to navigate archives and special collections. Please bring a laptop or tablet with you to follow along. There will be plenty of time for questions. 413-420-8101. 250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Monday, March 14, 6pm
BOOK TALK/PSYCHOLOGY
Our memories are everything: they are how we learn, how we function, and how we build an identity. After a traumatic brain injury at the age of 22, Su Meck lost all of her memories. Her body recovered quickly but she did not regain her memories. She had to rebuild a life and a relationship with all of her loved ones including two young children. People tend to be terrified and fascinated by the notion of amnesia, and much of what people know about the condition comes from dubious sources like highly fictionalized accounts in movies. If you want to know what it is really like to suffer from amnesia and build your path to recovery, read Su Meck’s book I Forgot To Remember, and come to her book talk at the Sunderland Public Library. Her surprisingly uplifting memoir will not only teach you about a medical condition; it will strongly affect how your view your own life and memories. 413-665-2642. 20 School St, Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Monday, March 14, 5:30pm-7pm
EARLY LITERACY
There are tons of ways to get your young children comfortable with reading and ultimately help them grow to love books. Creating safe, encouraging spaces where your children can learn to read and providing them with books to choose from are two good steps. This four part parent-child reading workshop (on March 14, 21, 28, April 4) at Pelham Elementary School will give you many more tips and activities, as well as a book to take home each week! Please bring your child with you for this night of talking, playing, singing, and sharing books. This workshop is for parents of children from birth to age five. This Collaborative For Educational Services program is part of a larger series, “The Puzzle of Parenting.” Look out for similar events in the future. 413-586-4900: Option 3. 45 Amherst Rd. Pelham, MA. (FREE)

Monday, March 14, 6:30pm
MUSIC STUDIES/FOLK
As part of the Music Monday series at the Gaylord Memorial Library, local folk and bluegrass singers and songwriters Chris Brashear and Ben Demerath will be entertaining library goers of all ages. Folk music is a great way to tell a story through song. Acoustic music in general often brings communities together as acoustic musicians often perform in small, intimate venues like this one. 413-538-5047. 47 College St, South Hadley, 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 —KNITTING INSTRUCTION/SKILLSHARE
    Don’t know how to knit? Learn! Already know how to knit? Teach! Every second Tuesday of the month, you can trade knitting techniques at theWhately Library. This is a relaxing and engaging activity that allows you to be creative and end up with a useful product. 413-665-2170. 202 Chestnut Plain Rd. Whately, 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 15

Tuesday, March 15, all day
LOCAL FOOD/LOCAL ECONOMY/RESTAURANT WEEK
Is there an Amherst restaurant you’ve been meaning to try? Stop in to participating businesses March 12 through March 19th for special menu items and deals. Participants include Johnny’s Tavern, Bistro 63, Moti, Chez Albert, 30 Boltwood and Osperia Vespa. Check out the Amherst Business Improvement District website for more information. Support local businesses and reconnect with friends and family over a plate of delicious food perfect for sharing. Amherst, MA. ($ – $$)

Tuesday, March 15, 10am-11am
LITERACY/STORYTIME
Come to the Greenfield Public Library for Mother Goose on the Loose, with Kay Lyons. This lap-sit storytime is for ages 0-3, with a caregiver. In addition to reading a book, Kay teaches animal sounds using puppets, leads the group In hand rhymes, and introduces other concepts to the very young. Rhymes start children on the path to reading and strengthen bonds between children and caregivers. Rhymes with movement also promote coordination. The program is about 30 minutes long and followed by visiting time. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street, Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, March 15, 3pm and 6pm
FILM SCREENING/HISTORY/CENSORSHIP
Screening the 2015 film Trumbo (rated R) can spark an interest in the long, complex history of censorship in the United States and elsewhere. Dalton Trumbo was an accomplished screenwriter. He wrote highly successful films such as Roman Holiday and Spartacus. Trumbo was blacklisted from Hollywood after he refused to testify in an investigation of Communist influences on the industry. He continued to write secretly and when Roman Holiday won the Academy Award, credit went to a front writer who had no part in the creative process. Come to a screening of Trumbo at 3pm or 6pm at the Whately Public Library. Viewers interested in learning may want to read Dalton Trumboby Bruce Cook. Viewers can also make connections between the historical events of the film and the subtler issues of censorship that continue to exist in this country today. 193 Chestnut Plain Rd. Whately, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, March 15, 5pm
CIVIC ENGAGEMENT/TOWN MEETING
Amherst, Massachusetts is a vibrant town with a rich history and a growing population. The Pioneer Valley Planning Commission works to maintain and improve transportation, housing, economic development, historic preservation, pollution control, and resource management in Amherst as well as all Pioneer Valley towns and cities. The PVPC is currently working on an Amherst Hazard Mitigation Plan in order to identify, prevent, minimize and manage natural risks affecting the town. Amherst residents, businesses, and surrounding community residents are welcome and encouraged to participate in this civic conversation and impact change. Come learn about, witness, or actively participate in community engagement on a small town level. 413-781-6045. Town Meeting Room. 4 Boltwood Avenue. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, March 15, 6pm
ARTS & CRAFT/UPCYCLING
The Sixteen Acres Branch Library is holding a workshop for teachers, librarians, and parents of homeschoolers, where they will learn how to make a journal out of recycled materials. This craft is great for an art or writing class and can be incorporated into wider lessons about upcycling, drawing or journal keeping. Meet other educators and parents and learn a new lesson plan. 1187 Parker St. Springfield. (FREE)

Tuesday, March 15, 6pm
LANGUAGE ARTS/PUBLISHING/ZINE MAKING
You don’t need a publisher to get your stories, poems, or drawings out to be the public. If you want to share your work with your community, you can always make a zine! Zines are small magazines, made inexpensively and often distributed for free. Since most zines don’t usually travel far in their distribution, zine collections can give you an idea about the culture of your community and connect you with local writers. Zine making is also a great way to collaborate with other artists. Come to the Sunderland Public Library and learn how to make your own zine. (If you want to check out a zine collection, visit the Flywheel Arts Collective in Easthampton. The Flywheel houses a library of non-circulating zines, some of which date back more than a decade.) Ages 11 to 18. Please register by calling 413-665 2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, March 15, 6pm-7:30pm
PARENTING SUPPORT/EMOTIONAL HEALTH
Managing emotions and communicating effectively are skills we use every day. All young children struggle with regulating their emotions. Children feel frustrated with their lack of freedom and their limited (yet constantly growing!) abilities. In this workshop series, Certified Holistic Health Counselor Sarah Patton will provide strategies to help parents help their children. This is the first of six workshops taking place at Erving Elementary School in March and April: on March, 15, 22, 29, April, 5,12,26. This class promises to instill greater competence and confidence in your children and help them follow directions more effectively. These are complex issues and there is no magic solution. Unlike one-time parenting events, in this workshop you can test new strategies, provide feedback, and ask questions over the course of several weeks. 28 Northfield Rd. Erving, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, March 15, 6pm-8pm
LANGUAGE ARTS/CHILDREN’S BOOK WRITERS
Writing books for children allows you to return to your own childhood, perhaps writing the kind of story you wish you could have read at a young age. Writing for children also poses its own unique challenges which do not affect writers of other genres. Children’s book authors have to constantly ask themselves what a child would want to happen and how that child would comprehend the story. You can meet up with other children’s book writers at the Greenfield Public Library to discuss tips and share your writing. This group will be facilitated by Nell Wright. 413-772-1544. 402 Main St. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, March 15, 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)

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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 16

Wednesday, March 16, all day
LOCAL FOOD/LOCAL ECONOMY/RESTAURANT WEEK
Is there an Amherst restaurant you’ve been meaning to try? Stop in to participating businesses March 12 through March 19th for special menu items and deals. Participants include Johnny’s Tavern, Bistro 63, Moti, Chez Albert, 30 Boltwood and Osperia Vespa. Check out the Amherst Business Improvement District website for more information. Support local businesses and reconnect with friends and family over a plate of delicious food perfect for sharing. Amherst, MA. ($ – $$)

Wednesday, March 16, 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)

Wednesday, March 16, 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 off 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)

Wednesday, March 16, 12pm-1pm
ART STUDIES/DISCUSSION
Art is a subjective discipline. How you feel about a work of art is your own opinion, and what you think the artist meant to capture in his or her work may be impossible to know for certain. For that reason it can be fun and educational to discuss your theories and opinions with other art enthusiasts. Bring a lunch to the Monson Free Library and meet up for an art discussion group. Themes will rotate according to the group’s interests. This month we will be exploring the work of Ellsworth Kelly. 2 High St. Monson, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, March 16, 4pm-6pm
ROCK CARVING/INTERGENERATIONAL
Learn how to carve a river rock at the Connecticut River Watershed Council. Carve an image, your name, or a special word. Do you like to canoe? How far have you traveled on a river? After rock carving we will look at the journal and sketchbook from the 1875 Source to Sea canoe journey of T.H. Pattison. At 5:30 we will discuss current issues regarding the Connecticut River. Learn about the past and present of river culture and stay up to date on the relicensing effort of five hydroelectric facilities on the Connecticut River. All ages welcome. 413-772-2020. 15 Bank Row. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, March 16, 5:30pm-7:30pm
STEM/CODING
There has never been a better time to learn computer programming. Free websites like Scratch use simple language to show you the logic of coding. At the same time, you can use the site to learn actual programming symbols and apply those symbols to your own projects. Whether you are new to Scratch or you’ve used it extensively, you’re invited to join fellow programmers at the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center to make your own virtual pet. If you’re already experienced in Scratch, you can learn more sophisticated behaviors for your pet. Ages 7 and up. 100 Bigelow St. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, March 16, 6:30pm-8pm
ORNITHOLOGY/RAPTOR
In their migration, snowy owls are attracted to coastal dunes and prairies. Wildlife photographer Peter Christoph followed the snowy owl across beaches in Salisbury, Hampton, and Plum Island for fourteen days during the winter. He will be presenting his photographs at the Westfield Athenaeum. Come with questions. Why did he decide to follow the snowy owl? How did he know where to look and how easy was it to find and photograph snowy owls? Lang Auditorium. 413-568-7833. 6 Elm St. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, March 16, 7pm
FILM/HISTORY/GENDER STUDIES
As part of the Williams College film series “In / dependence: Capturing Women in (New) French Cinema,” you can attend a free screening of the 2011 French film L’Apollonide / House of Pleasures . 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 16, 7pm-8:30pm
ORNITHOLOGY/RAPTORS
The bald eagle species is a restoration success story. Bald eagles are beginning to breed in healthy amounts. Barton Cove at Northfield Mountain is one example of a local area with eagle nests. Come to the Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environment Center to hear author, photographer, and nature enthusiast William Dean talk about the eagles of Barton Cove. His presentation will include photos, videos, and stories as well as information about regional nests. 99 Millers Falls Road. Northfield, 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)
  • 5:30pm-7:45pm — CHESS Chess requires complex planning skills, visual reasoning and memory. The social aspect of the game adds another level of fun. Join us at the Greenfield Public Library for chess club every Wednesday. The last Wednesday of each month will feature a speed chess tournament. 413-772-1544 x5. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, 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 17

Thursday, March 17, all day
LOCAL FOOD/LOCAL ECONOMY/RESTAURANT WEEK
Is there an Amherst restaurant you’ve been meaning to try? Stop in to participating businesses March 12 through March 19th for special menu items and deals. Participants include Johnny’s Tavern, Bistro 63, Moti, Chez Albert, 30 Boltwood and Osperia Vespa. Check out the Amherst Business Improvement District website for more information. Support local businesses and reconnect with friends and family over a plate of delicious food perfect for sharing. Amherst, MA. ($ – $$)

Thursday, March 17, 3pm-4pm
ANIME/TEENS
Teenage anime fans can gather at the Westfield Athenaeum to discuss their favorite and least favorite authors, stories, and iterations. Are you a fan of Attack on Titan? What do you like better, the book or the television series? Anime can be a gateway not only to reading but to making and appreciating art, and learning about Japanese culture. There are also similarities between the plot lines and art aesthetics of anime, manga, and videogames. Teens and kids interested in making their own manga might also be interested in learning to code, or make artwork for a video game, thus opening up the possibility of collaborating with friends. Ages 13 through 18. 413-568-7833. 6 Elm St. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, March 17, 3pm-5pm
MAKERSPACE/ART
How would you define the word “drawing?” You might feel inclined to say that a drawing is a form of artwork typically done with pen or pencil on paper. Does a drawing, by definition, have to be one dimensional? Since wire is relatively thin and often one solid color, wire sculptures can be made to look like drawings, particularly when placed in front of a plain backdrop. Come to The Clark Art Institute’s Makerspace to make your own wire sculpture! This event is recommended for 4th through 8th graders. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Free with the price of museum admission. 413-458-2303. 225 South St, Williamstown, MA. ($. Children under 18 FREE)

Thursday, March 17, 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 caregivers. 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 17, 3:30pm-5:00pm
ARTS & CRAFTS/ IRISH FOLKLORE
Leprechauns are an enduring creature from Irish folklore, still frequently appearing in children’s literature. They may appeal to children because of their mischievous, sneaky behavior. Come to the Meekins Library with your children three years and older to hear leprechaun tales. You can also make a dancing leprechaun puppet for your child. 413-268-7472. 2 Williams St. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, March 17, 3:30pm
LITERACY/MIDDLE GRADE BOOK CLUB
Neil Gaiman, author of Neverwhere, Stardust, and Coraline, has written books for adults and children, with and without illustrations. For that reason, reading his books is a great way to connect with your child over a love of the same author. If your child develops a fondness for Gaiman’s fantasy novels now, he or she will have no shortage of books to explore while developing into a more advanced reader. This week at the Forbes Library, children who feel comfortable with chapter books and have read Gaiman’s Odd and the Frost Giants are invited to discuss the text with other kids. This nature fantasy tells the tale of twelve-year-old Odd and his journey to save his city. Copies of the book are available through the library. 413-587-1010. 20 West St. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, March 17, 7pm-7pm
HISTORY/AGRICULTURE
What makes “Old Farms” so special? Archaeologists have long searched for 17th century remains of prominent New England settlements, but nothing more than a few scattered house sites have ever been found. Construction erased the older remains. The term “Old Farms” refers to the ideal example archaeologists have long been seeking: preserved remains of a complete nucleated 17th century settlement. Hatfield’s buried Colonial village is the only archaeological site of its kind in southern New England. Join UMass archaeologist Randy Daum at the Hatfield Congregational Church as he explores thisarchaeological treasure. For more information, check out the Hatfield Historical Societywebsite. 41 Main St, Hatfield, 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 18

Friday, March 18, all day
LOCAL FOOD/LOCAL ECONOMY/RESTAURANT WEEK
Is there an Amherst restaurant you’ve been meaning to try? Stop in to participating businesses March 12 through March 19th for special menu items and deals. Participants include Johnny’s Tavern, Bistro 63, Moti, Chez Albert, 30 Boltwood and Osperia Vespa. Check out the Amherst Business Improvement District website for more information. Support local businesses and reconnect with friends and family over a plate of delicious food perfect for sharing. Amherst, MA. ($ – $$)

Friday, March 18, 9am-5pm
LIBRARY ADVENTURES/CREATIVE-FREE PLAY
Has your child ever wanted to see what happens in the library after hours? Your child’s stuffed animal is invited to find out! Drop off their fuzzy friend at the Forbes Library on Friday the 18th, and pick it up on Saturday the 19th. Your child will need to make them a name tag and fill out their permission slip. Their stuffed animal will report back all sorts of fun activities from the night before. Most children develop strong attachments to objects like stuffed animals, blankets, or items of clothing. This is common and healthy. Your child may not want to part with their favorite stuffed animal. They can always pick their second favorite! 413-587-1010. 20 West St. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Friday, March 18, 9:30am-4pm
MAPLE SUGARING/LIVING HISTORY
It’s Homeschool Day at Old Sturbridge Village! Youth and their parents are invited to learn about the process of sugaring in early 19th-century rural New England, as well as how sugaring fit into daily life and influenced culture. Attendees will see multiple sugaring techniques and learn about how the process has modified over the years. Period actors will cook authentic 19th century foods with maple products. Check out the Old Sturbridge Village website to see a full list of the day’s events, including workshops which require registration. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. ($)

Friday, March 18, 10am-11am
INTERGENERATIONAL DANCING/CREATIVE-FREE PLAY
Young children and their caregivers can dance their worries away at the Freedom Dance Studio while socializing with local families. There will be opportunities for kids to play creatively, as well as a a more structured “Circle Time” with songs, finger movements and a story. Your child will practice fine motor skills in a relaxed environment while receiving positive feedback. 40 Main Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Friday, March 18, 10am-12pm
PARENTING SERIES: FINANCIAL LITERACY
As part of the Hilltown Community Health Center’s series on Positive Parenting, caregivers can attend this free financial literacy workshop. Meet at the Hilltown Family Center for a non-judgmental discussion of family financial planning. Learn tips on smart investments and planning for your family’s future. Childcare will be provided. For more information or to register, please contact Susan LeBarron at 667-2203 or slebarron@hchcweb.org. 9 Russell Road. Huntington, MA. (FREE)

Friday, March 18, 10:30am
STORYTIME/INTERGENERATIONAL
Grandparents and great-grandparents are the story keepers of our families. They’re the ones who can share tales of our parents before we knew them, when they were our age or younger. They can provide a different perspective than parents, aunts, uncles and cousins, as they tell us about family history and history in general. We will be celebrating grandparents at the Gaylord Memorial Library with a story time and craft workshop. Grandparents are welcome to come with their grandkids, or all three generations could visit the library together. We will be reading Todd Parr’s The Grandpa Book. 413-538-5047. 47 College St, South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Friday, March 18, 3:30-4:30pm
AVIATION/CRAFTS/WOMEN’S HISTORY
Celebrate Women’s History Month at the Forbes Library as we discuss the impact of Amelia Earhart! In addition to being the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, Earhart left her mark on history by writing two books about her experience. Her journal entries have also been collected and published. As we learn about her legacy we will make paper airplanes and other crafts. This event can launch a discussion with kids about historic and modern figures who have defied gender roles. The event can also open up conversations about careers. Meet in the community room. 413-587-1010. 20 West St. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Friday, March 18, 3:30-4:30pm
PHYSICS/SOUND
Can you really shatter a glass with your voice? It’s highly unlikely, but possible, and the reason why it’s possible has to do with the physics of sound. A wine glass, for example, has a resonant frequency. That frequency corresponds with the pitch you hear if you clink the glass. If a singer were able to hit that exact frequency with enough force, and if the glass already had some imperfections such as a tiny crack, the glass could break. Kids ages nine and up are invited to the West Springfield Public Library to ask their own physics questions (if they have them) and learn all about the science of sound. 413-736-4561 x4. 200 Park Street. West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, March 18, 5:30pm
TEEN/SOCIAL MEDIA
Do you use Pinterest? What about Yelp? Do you like coding and building your own technical tools? With technology expanding and new applications popping up every day, it can be hard to keep them all straight. Celebrate “Teen Tech Week” with a game of computer-based bingo at the Sunderland Public Library. Teens will complete technical tasks as they compete to win bingo. Please sign up in person or by calling the library at 413-665 2642. 20 School Street, Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Friday, March 18, 6:30pm-8:30pm
FIBER ARTS/NEEDLE FELTING
You’re never too old for arts and crafts! Local artist Linda Balk will teach participants at the Northfield Public Library how to needle felt. You’ll be able to bring home a very cute owl to keep or to gift. This is a beginner course in felting techniques using fibers from Balky Farm Sheep. Needle crafts can be a highly relaxing yet social activity, keeping our brains and our hands active. This class is open to 15 participants. Please call to register. 413-498-2455. 115 Main St. Northfield, MA. ($)

Friday, March 18, 7pm
MUSICAL THEATER
The classic story of Peter Pantells the tale about a boy who refuses to grow up. When Peter Pan shows up in the London nursery of Wendy, John, and Michael Darling with his friend Tinker Bell, the children are taken on a magical journey to NeverLand. This enchanted island is home to a colorful cast of characters, including the Lost Boys, Tiger Lily and her Native American nation, and the cunning Captain Hook! Through music and storytelling, Peter Pan captures the nostalgia of childhood wonderment and the delicate balance between holding on and letting go. Performances will be held at Hampshire Regional High School.413-437-5597. 19 Stage Road, Westhampton, MA ($$)

Friday, March 18, 7pm
MUSICAL THEATER
Have you ever read a book or watched a movie set in a town you know well? It can be interesting to bring your own knowledge of a place to a work of art, and enlightening to see the town from a new perspective. West Side of The Bridge is an original play based partly on Grease and West Side Story but set in Amherst and Northampton. This uplifting story of a rivalry between “The Hurricanes” and “The Devils” will provide a new take on your community and on traditional musicals. Students of Whole Children, an inclusive community center, will perform this musical for the public at Smith College. Purchase your tickets at the Whole Children website before they sell out! Hallie Flanagan Studio Theatre.122 Green Street. Northampton, MA. ($)

Friday, March 18, 7pm-9pm
PERFORMANCE ART/SINGING
Bring your family and friends to Northampton High School for “The Valley Voice!” You will see and hear talented performers of all ages compete for cash prizes while supporting The Eliminate Project. This organization works to eliminate neonatal tetanus, a deadly disease which affects newborns and mothers. Support your talented friends and neighbors and an important global cause. Northampton High School Auditorium. 380 Elm St, Northampton, MA (DONATION)

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

  • 9am-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Community Network for Children hosts a playgroup for newborns through preschool-aged children with their caregivers at the Shutesbury Elementary School every Friday through June 30, 2016. It may not run on school holidays and in inclement weather; please call ahead to check. 413-259-1212. 23 West Pelham Road, Shutesbury, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am – WRITING: The Edwards Public Library‘s Writing Group meets every Friday. Older students with a passion for writing of any style can attend this supportive intergenerational group. 413-527-9480. 30 East Street. Southampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11am – PLAYGROUP: Young kids can play, learn, and discover at a weekly program every Friday at the Becket Washington School. 413-655-0146. 12 Maple Street. Becket, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Easthampton Family Center is open every Monday, Tuesday, and Friday through May 2016 for drop-in playgroup and activities for kids ages 5 and under. The Family Center follows the Easthampton Public Schools schedule. 413-527-5496. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Cummington Family Center is holding a playgroup every Wednesday and Friday through May 2016. Young kids can come play and make friends. Takes place in old Berkshire Trail Elementary School. 2 Main Street. Cummington, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Frontier Regional CFCE is offering a playgroup for kids ages 5 and under every Tuesday and Friday at Sunderland Elementary School through June 10, 2016. Follows Sunderland school schedule. 413-665-8928. 1 Swampfield Drive. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: There will be a weekly playgroup every Friday at Whole Children for children ages 5 and under. 413-585-8010. 41 Russell Street. Hadley, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-12pm — PLAYGROUP: Children ages 0-5 and their parents are invited to a playgroup at the Belchertown Family Center every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday morning. 413-835-5201. 720 Franklin Street, Belchertown, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am – PLAYGROUP: Playgroup/storytime every Friday at Anne T. Dunphy School. 1 Petticoat Hill Road. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am – PLAYGROUP: Childcare of the Berkshires, Inc. holds a playgroup every Friday at the playground on Narragansett Avenue. 413-664-4821. Narragansett Avenue. Lanesborough, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am & 2pm – GEOLOGY: Learn about the fascinating geology of Natural Bridge State Park at their Marvelous Marble Tour every Friday at 10am & 2pm. Join a park interpreter for an easy walk around the park exploring its geologic history and the remains of the 19th- and 20th-century marble quarry that once operated on the grounds. All ages will enjoy exploring the park and learning some interesting local geology. 413-663-6392. McCauley Road. North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11am – PLAYGROUP: Child Care of the Berkshires, Inc. is offering a free baby group for babies and caretakers at the Williamstown Youth Center the first Friday of every month. 413-663-6593. School Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11am – PRENATAL SUPPORT: Exercise and emotional support are both important components of a healthy pregnancy. Get some of both at a walk and talk group that allows pregnant women to gather, support each other, and learn together. Each session begins with a walk and ends with a sit-down talk about topics such as nutrition, health, and infant care. This group is sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. Childcare is provided. 413-644-0104 x 1159. 442 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11am — BABY & ME/PLAYGROUP Pittsfield CFCE hosts an interactive Baby & Me Playgroup for parents with babies ages 1 and under each Friday. Explore and connect with others, and learn from guest speakers. Pre-registration required. 413-441-0974. 480 West Street. Pittsfield, MA (FREE)
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Drop-in time at the Haskins Center every Friday. Come play and make friends every week. 413-664-4821. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-12noon – MOTHER SUPPORT GROUP: There will be a MotherWoman support group every Friday at the Community Action Family Center. Expectant mothers and moms of infants can attend this group to discuss adjustment to motherhood. Childcare provided; babies in arms welcome. 413-387-0703. 220 Russell Street. Hadley, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: There will be a playgroup every Friday at the Hilltown Family Center. 413-667-2203. 9 Russell Road. Huntington, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-12noon – MOTHER SUPPORT GROUP: There will be a MotherWoman support group every Friday at the MotherWoman Office. Expectant mothers and moms of infants through preschoolers can attend this group to discuss all aspects of motherhood. Childcare provided for ages 4 and under. 413-256-1145. 1200 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Playgroup for preschool-age Hilltown children at the Chesterfield Community Center the first and third Friday of each month with free play, toys, songs, stories, crafts, and a free book. 413-296-9201. Chesterfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-12pm – PLAYGROUP: Incorporate much-needed physical activity into your child’s day by participating in Skip & Dip, a high-energy playgroup sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. This group, which meets on Fridays, starts with an hour of playtime in the gym with assorted toys and equipment, followed by an hour of swimming in the pool. 413-644-0104. Berkshire South Regional Community Center, 15 Crissey Road, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Every Friday is Bounce and Rhyme Storytime at the Monson Free Library! Kids 2 ½ and younger can come enjoy stories, songs, and rhymes. 413-267-3866. 2 High Street. Monson, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – MOVEMENT: The Chicopee Public Library holds a weekly Music and Movement program for kids ages 5 and under every Friday. Come have fun moving, singing, and dancing. 413-594-1800. 449 Front Street. Chicopee, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Families can attend the “Family Frolic Storytime” every Friday at Gaylord Memorial Library! Enjoy stories, musical plays, and crafts. 413-538-5047. 47 College Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-11:30am – MUSIC & PLAYGROUP: Children ages 2-5 with their caregivers are invited to the Mason Library‘s Sing N Play group every Friday. Please register in advance for one 4-week session. New sessions begin each month. 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-11:30am – STORYTIME/ART/MUSIC Toddlers ages 2-5 with their caregivers are invited to the Ramsdell Library every Friday for the “Time for Tots” group. This hour of fun will include stories, songs, art, and movement. 413-274-3738. 1087 Main Street, Housatonic, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-12noon — PLAYGROUP: Socialize with other parents while your child plays at the Infant & Toddler Playgroup at The Bridge Family Resource Center every Friday. Light breakfast served. For kids ages 0-3 and their caregivers. 413-549-0297. 101 University Drive Suite A3, Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am-12pm – STORYTIME: Preschool Story Time on the first Friday of every month through the end of June 2016 at the Cushman Library. Stories, coloring, crafts, songs, activities, snacks, and more. 413-648-5402. 28 Church Street. Bernardston, MA. (FREE)
  • 11:00am – STORYTIME: The Sunderland Public Library’s Head of Youth Services, Kelly Daniels Baker, invites children ages 3-5 and their families to a preschool storytime. Includes stories, songs, finger plays, and crafts. Sunderland Public Library, 20 School St., Sunderland, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am-11:30am – MUSEUM-BASED PLAY: Visit the Berkshire Museum for WeeMuse Adventures, a weekly program every Friday that will feature songs, stories, scavenger hunts, playtime, and more. Intended audience is children 18 months – 3 years with a caregiver; siblings welcome. Borrow a free museum pass from the library. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($)
  • 11am-12pm – STEM STORYTIME The third Friday of every month the Cushman Library will be running a STEM themed storytime for preschoolers. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Come see how we relate these topics to everyday concepts which preschools understand and find entertaining. 28 Church St, Bernardston, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am-12:50pm – ICE SKATING: Want to teach a child how to ice skate but find it difficult to navigate the ice when it is so crowded? The Mullins Center on the UMass Amherst Campus offers a “just for families” skate (no college students) every Friday throughout the school year. You can borrow ice skates or bring your own. Skate rental is free with paid admission. Parents and caregivers skate free when accompanying children. Call to confirm: 413-545-2791, Mullins Center. 200 Commonwealth Ave., University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Amherst, MA (<$)
  • 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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