Suggested Events for April 2nd-8th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“I check in weekly with Hilltown Families to plan our weekend adventures… greatest places and activities on your site!” – Liz Burnworth (Northampton MA)

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

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

Summer Camps in Western MA

Nearly 55 summer camps & programs, in and around western MA, to choose from with new camps added every week!

Check out our featured post, 2016 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a comprehensive list of summer camps & programs in the region! Summer opportunities featured range from music, arts & crafts, wilderness adventures, dance, performance art, farming, rock climbing, STEM, pre-college, sports, theater… to good old traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans! — Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your listing HERE.

Bulletin Board

Apr 18-22

Spend some time outside during spring break! There are a few spaces left in the Hartsbrook April Farm Camp. Spring is here and baby goats, sheep, chicks, pigs will soon join the new calf on their farm. Spend the April break tending the animals, learning crafts and exploring the land on their beautiful campus. Enjoy some fresh air, purposeful work and the fun of working with fellow campers. Their spring vacation camp is for children 6-12 years old. April 18-22, 8:45am to 3pm. Registration at hartsbrook.org. Questions? Call 413-586-1908 x116

Apr 18-22

The Spirit of the Heart YES! April Vacation Camp offers an fantastic introduction to martial arts & crafts & outdoor play! This camp and its leaders are committed to instilling robust self esteem in every child through the development of inner and outer awareness, physical strength, people skills, self-expression and personal safety skills. This is a fun, life-enriching experience in a relaxed school vacation atmosphere. Dates and Times: April 18-22, 9am-3pm. Age/Grade Range: 5-12yo. Contact: 413-585-1661. nohokungfu@gmail.com. spiritoftheheart.wordpress.com. Spirit of the Heart is located at 47 Market Street in Northampton, MA.

Begins Apr 5

Isadora Duncan Dance for Adults. Calling all moms and other grown-ups! It’s your turn to dance! Ballet Renversé will present a workshop for dancers of all levels and backgrounds. Dancer, teacher, and director, Cynthia James will teach this beautiful, expressive, and accessible dance form. Isadora Duncan was the mother of modern dance, a pioneer of expressive movement. Tuesdays: April 5, 12, 26, & May 3 6-7:30pm at Buckland-Shelburne Elementary School. Cost for the workshop is $60 for pre-registered students/$75 to register at the first class. To pre-register, call 413-625-6442. Ballet Renversé presents this workshop as part of “A Festival of Dance,” to celebrate its 10th year in Shelburne Falls and its 20th as a dance company.


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

Apr 2

Valley Vegfest happens Saturday, April 2nd from 10am-4pm at JFK Middle School, Bridge Road, Northampton. Featuring passionate speakers, vegan food vendors, veg-friendly products, and non-profit organizations dedicated to healthy living, animal welfare, and the environment. Learn about and sample delicious healthy new foods. Enjoy entertainment and activities for kids. Speakers include: Jasmin Singer, co-host of Our Hen House; Ginny Messina, dietitian and author of Vegan for Her; psychologist and author Dr. Casey Taft; and Sarah Swingle of the Humane Society of the United States. There will also be discussions and demonstrations. Admission is free — donations are welcomed. Details at www.valleyveg.org.

Open House: Apr 9

R. H. Conwell Preschool in Worthington is hosting an Open House on Saturday, April 9 from 10am-2pm. Come meet the teachers and see their preschool room. Bring your boots and explore their play area and take a walk in their woods. Play games, read some books and even make a craft! Light refreshments will be provided. They offer a nature-based program both outside and inside the classroom. They believe that exploring and playing in the natural world provide children with a foundation of skills necessary for future learning. They are currently accepting applications for immediate enrollment as well as for the fall. Their program is for children 2.9 to 5 years old and is half day or full day. Please call 413-238-5856, if you have any questions.

Apr 24 – May 22

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

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your summer camp, class, community event, school, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business, program, after school class, or non-profit featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our advertising options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at info@hilltownfamilies.org. Find out more about this targeted marketing opportunity HERE.

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to info@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
April 2nd-8th, 2016

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Donate Now Events Happening in the Hilltowns

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Ongoing Saturday Events

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

Saturday, April 2, 8:30am-4pm
HORTICULTURE/AGRICULTURE
Growing your own food is one way to learn about plant and soil science while fostering a connection to your environment, improving your health, and decreasing your environmental impact. If you have children, you can get your entire family involved! Come to Old Sturbridge Village for a full day of talks and workshops on backyard farming. You will gain historical knowledge of horticulture and agriculture as well as current, practical advice on growing food, identifying wild edible plants, improving soil sustainability, and raising chickens. Register online. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. (Members $$ Non members $$$)

Saturday, April 2, 8:30am-6pm
HISTORY/ANTHROPOLOGY/ARCHITECTURE
Historic Deerfield will be bringing together a diverse group of historians and curators to focus on the material culture and functions of the New England parlor, including issues of refinement, wealth, consumerism, power, and gender, at the one-day forum, “Company’s Coming: Artifacts and Rituals of Early New England Parlors”. Lunch is included. Register early on the Historic Deerfield website to save. The Deerfield Community Center, 16 Memorial Street, Deerfield, MA. ($$$)

Saturday, April 2, 9am-12:30pm
COMMUNITY-BASED EDUCATION/LOCAL HABITAT
Westfield River Watershed Association will be holding their 22nd annual Westfield River Symposium at Westfield State University. The theme for this year’s symposium is “Citizen Science in Our Watershed: Helping to Monitor the River.” There will be a variety of speakers talking about different monitoring activities going on in western Massachusetts. The keynote address will be given by Sienna Wildfield, Executive Director of Hilltown Families, whose title is “The Westfield River Watershed: Playground, Classroom & Sanctuary.” WSU. Scanlon Banquet Hall. Westfield, MA (FREE)

Saturday, April 2, 9:15am-5pm
COMMUNITY CELEBRATION/ACTIVISM
Anyone and everyone who identifies as a member of a LGBTQIA+ community, which includes allies, is welcome to attend the third annual “Live Out Loud” community conference! This full day of workshop and panel discussions will cover topics such as how to create safe spaces for LGBT elders, how to interact with law enforcement as a gender nonconforming person, as well as topics concerning careers and relationships, and much more. The LGBT community has made huge strides but there is still a lot of work to be done towards reaching equality. Meeting and discussing these issues strengthens resolve and can spark new ideas for approaching problems on an individual and political level. Berkshire Community College. 1350 West St. Pittsfield, MA (DONATION)

Saturday, April 2, 10am
COMMUNITY EGG HUNT
Bring your children to Otis Town Hall for an Easter egg hunt and games! Please bring your own basket(s) and wear clothing appropriate for the outdoors. All ages welcome. Call the recreation center and provide the name(s) of participants, age, address and phone number to register. 413-269-4541. 1 North Main Road. Otis, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 2, 10am-2pm
FARMERS’ MARKET
Explore the sometimes surprising bounty of the winter harvest, and wonderful, local delights such as honey, breads, pastries, cheeses, jewelry, and more at the final Amherst Winter Farmers’ Market of the season. SNAP accepted throughout the market. Amherst Regional Middle School, 170 Chestnut Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 2, 10am-4pm
ASTRONOMY/SPACE EXPLORATION
Come to the Space Expo at New England Air Museumand you can participate in interactive programs, see a planetarium show, and meet Story Musgrave! Musgrave, native Stockbridge resident worked for 30 years as a NASA astronaut, flying on six spaceflight missions. He participated in STS-61, a 1993 mission to repair the Hubble Telescope. At this event you will see life-sized droids, examine a Mars spacesuit, build a rocket, touch a space rock and more! All ages welcome. 860-623-3305. 36 Perimeter Rd. Windsor Locks, CT. (Adults $. 4-11<$. Children under 3 FREE)

Saturday, April 2, 10:30am
FAIRY TALES/MARIONETTES
Watch the Tanglewood Marionettes bring the story of Hansel and Gretel to life through a highly skilled performance, hand crafted puppets and a colorful set in the shape of a storybook. This show hosted by the Jones Library will be accompanied by the Humperdinck Opera. This could be a great introduction to the classical fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel. For those who already know the story, Tanglewood Marionettes are sure to provide an interesting new representation of the characters. 413-259-3090. Performance takes place at Grace Episcopal Church. 14 Boltwood Ave. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 2, 10am-4pm
NUTRITION/ANIMAL WELFARE
Did you know it takes 52 gallons of water to make one quarter pound hamburger patty? Climate change is often talked about in terms of water and gas consumption, but not as often discussed as a dietary problem. Beyond sustainability, there are many other reasons to decrease your intake of animal products including possible health benefits and an interest in the fair treatment of animals. Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, or neither, you’re invited to Valley VegFest to learn all about veganism. Nine speakers will discuss a wide array of topics related to veganism including nutrition, sprouting, recipes, GMOs, animal treatment, and advocacy. There will also be food vendors and veg-friendly products and services! J.F.K. Middle School. 100 Bridge Rd, Florence, MA. (DONATION)

Saturday, April 2, 11am
THEATER/NATIVE AMERICAN MYTHOLOGY
Trickster characters are an archetype appearing in folktales of virtually all origins. Tricksters compensate for their lack of power or physical strength through cunning and deceit. Though these characters show how adversity can in some cases be overcome by intellect. The Grumbling Gryphons will be performing two trickster tales of Native American origin at The Spectrum Playhouse. After this interactive play there will be a chance to meet the actors. 413-394-5023. 20 Franklin St. Lee, MA (FREE)

Saturday, April 2, 1pm-2:30pm
SCUBA DIVING/ARCHAEOLOGY/LOCAL HISTORY
What is a petroglyph? The term refers to art made by chipping away at the surface of rock either by incising, picking, carving, or abrading. While scuba diving is mostly associated with marine biology and ecology, scuba diving in rivers can lead to archaeological discoveries, such as speaker Annette Spaulding’s discovery of a Native American petroglyph in the Connecticut River near Brattleboro. Hear more about her underwater, historical adventures at the Great Falls Discovery Center. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 2, 1:30pm-4pm
JAPANESE CULTURE/SPEECH CONTEST
The annual Japanese Speech Contest is an event held by the Five College East Asian Languages department to honor and celebrate excellent student work across the five colleges of Smith, Mount Holyoke, Amherst, Hampshire, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. This year’s contest will take place at Umass Amherst in Herter Hall 231. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 2, 2pm
FOOD HISTORY
Do you love food history? How about local history? What about local food history that is a little quirky? If so, join Christopher Clark, University of Connecticut historian, for his talk on Sylvester Graham. This is where we get the name “Graham Cracker” from! Graham was a well-known lecturer and writer on diet, health, and hygiene in the 19th century. An early advocate of vegetarianism, he would be best remembered for crackers and bread made of unbolted flour, the commercialization of which would secure him lasting name-recognition. He was generally considered something of a quack by the science and medical profession, but he had a large public following. Sylvester Graham’s former home in Northampton is now the popular breakfast restaurant, Sylvester’s. 413-584-6011. 46 Bridge Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 2, 2pm
CHILDREN’S THEATER/COMEDY
In Mr. Fumblebody, the title character is inspired by, and pays homage to, the great silent movie comedians Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, and early Jaques Tati. This hilarious show is suitable for audiences ages 5 years and up, combining physical slapstick with vivid audience participation and hilarious improvisations. This performance gives children an opportunity to experience the lost art of silent theater. Performances will be held at the Double Edge Theatre. 413-628-0277. 948 Conway Road, Ashfield, MA. ($$)

Saturday, April 2, 2:30pm-3:25pm
ACROBATICS
Have you ever wanted to take a circus class? Now is the chance for you and your teenager to try out circus skills like tumbling, partner acrobatics, contortion, hand balancing, and mini trampoline at Show Circus Studio.The class is free but you must register online to participate. Enrollment is limited. This free trial is open to participants ages 13 and up who have not taken a class at Show Circus Studio before. This is great opportunity for parents and kids to try something new together! 413-527-6901. 150 Pleasant St, Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 2, 3pm
MULTIMEDIA PERFORMANCE
Did you know that some colleges, including Berkeley College of Music, now offer a degree in electronic music? Computers and other electronic devices have been utilized by a variety of musical groups and individuals. Some rely entirely on electronics, while others blend new and traditional instruments. The Mount Holyoke Symphony Orchestra will be playing music for orchestra and electronics, while also combining film, dance and interactive video in this multimedia performance. Local artists and Mount Holyoke College students will join together in this exploration of technology through art. For further details, please contact Eileen O’Grady by email at ograd22e@mtholyoke.edu. Chapin Auditorium, Mount Holyoke College Campus. 50 College St, South Hadley, MA. ($$. Students <$)

Saturday, April 2, 3pm-5pm
ICE SPORTS
Participating in figure skating as an individual or as part of a synchronized skating team has the benefits of a sport and an art form. Like all sports, figure skating teaches hard work and perseverance. Synchronized skating requires a high level of teamwork and precision. One person’s mistake have a ripple effect as skaters are often linked by the arm during their shows. The visual component of synchronized skating, like marching band or choreographed group dancing, makes this an art form as well as a sport. Come to Greenfield’s Annual Spring Ice Show to celebrate the hard work of local skaters of all ages as they perform solo, duet, and group routines. Collins/Moylan Arena. 41 Barr Ave. Greenfield, MA. (<$)

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

Saturday, April 2, 5:30-8:30pm
ECOLOGY
Although vernal pools are by definition a temporary habitat, they provide the perfect breeding ground for spotted salamanders, wood frogs, tiny mussels, fairy shrimp, and many other creatures. Families with children ages 4 through 16 can learn more about vernal pools and their inhabitants through humorous skits at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary’s “Big Night.” Guided tours will leave the nature center every 15 minutes to travel a 45-minute forest trail where you will meet costumed characters. There will also be games and presentations. In the event of inclement weather the outdoor portion of this program will be brought indoors. Adults and self-directed teens interested in learning more about vernal pools should return to Arcadia on April 4th for the vernal pool certification program. Call 413-584-3009 to register. 127 Combs Road. Easthampton, MA. (<$)

Saturday, April 2, 6pm
PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT
The Greater Shelburne Falls Area Business Association’s 19th Annual Auction will feature live music by Whistlestop, crafts, gift certificates to local restaurants, books and more. The event will be catered by Gloriosa & Company. This event will involve both a live and a silent auction. Shelburne Buckland Community Center. Payments can be made in person or by calling 413-625-2526. 53 Main St, Shelburne Falls, MA. (FUNDRAISER)

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Sunday, April 3rd, 2016

Ongoing Sunday Events

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

Sunday, April 3, 10am-5pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES
Every first Sunday of the month, The Clark Art Institute offers free admission! The Clark Art Institute, located in north Berkshire County, is one of a small number of institutions globally that is both an art museum and a center for research, critical discussion, and higher education in the visual arts. This Sunday, in addition to free museum admission there will be a free, all ages drawing event. Pick up a sketchbook at the front desk for drawing at the gallery. From 11am-2pm, attend an art talk and apply what you’ve learned from your own experience to the methods, techniques and visions of these great artists. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street, Williamstown, MA (FREE)

Sunday, April 3, 1pm-3pm
SCIENCE: MULTIPLE DISCIPLINES
Are your children interested in how electricity works? Do they like to study bugs in the back yard? Do they like playing with color changing tea cups? Encourage your junior scientists and help foster their interests in biology, engineering, archaeology, technology, electricity and more at the pop up science fair! Children ages three and up and their families are invited to this interactive, educational event. 413-259-1204. Shutesbury Town Hall. 1 Cooleyville Road. Shutesbury, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, April 3, 1pm-4pm
SOCIALIZING/GAMES
6th through 8th graders are welcome to drop by any one of the lounge days at the Jewish Community Center. JCC is a learning and recreational center serving all age groups. April 3, 10, 17, 24 are lounge days for tweens to play board games, Wii, table tennis, air hockey and more. Make connections to Jewish culture and have a relaxing, good time with friends and neighbors. Call 413-739-4715 x322 with any questions. 1160 Dickinson St., Springfield, MA. (<$)

Sunday, April 3, 2pm
FILM SCREENING/JEWISH CULTURE
Isaac Bashevis Singer, winner of the nobel prize for literature in 1978, wrote 18 novels as well as articles and essays. Five of his works were adapted for film. This documentary, The Muses of Bashevis Singer, explores Singer’s writing process through the eyes of the female translators who worked with him to shape the language of the English translations of his Yiddish works. This film is a celebration of a successful figure in Jewish culture, and it provides insight into the unsung heroines behind much of his work. The film could also be of interest to anyone who wants to learn about a unique writing process wherein the author actively collaborates with translators to create two works, for distinct audiences, at the same time. This film is presented as part of the Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival and will take place at the Yiddish Book Center. 413-256-4900. 1021 West Street. Amherst, MA. (>$)

Sunday, April 3, 2pm-4pm
INTERGENERATIONAL ART HISTORY
Norman Rockwell’s 1943 series of oil paintings, The Four Freedoms, draws upon President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s 1941 state of the union address to visually represent freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. In celebration of the 75th anniversary of FDR’s “Four Freedoms” speech, high school artists have reimagined these ideas into their own original works of art, currently on display in the Norman Rockwell Museum. Celebrate these young artists’ work and enjoy a special closing reception for the artists and public. All ages welcome. Free with Museum admission. 413-298-4100. 9 MA-183, Stockbridge, MA (Adult non member $ Members FREE)

Sunday, April 3, 3pm
WATERCOLOR ART/WRITING
Rose and the Wish Thing is the story of a young girl in a new town using a newfound friendship and her personal power of imagination to get through a difficult life transition. You and your family are invited to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art to meet Caroline Magerl, the author/illustrator of this book. Magerl will read the story aloud and allow participants to try out some of her watercolor techniques with a demonstration. Signed books will also be available for purchase. This event could be a springboard for collaborative, family art and writing projects. 413-559-6300. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. (<$)

Sunday, April 3, 3pm
CHORAL CONCERT
Hildegard of Bingen was a nun, living in the 12th century, who studied a wide array of subjects and drew upon her religious experiences as inspiration for musical compositions among other art forms. Philip Glass is a contemporary composer whose minimal, repetitive scores have strongly influenced music from the late 20th century to the present. The Mount Holyoke Chorale will be juxtaposing the very old with the very new at this performance of pieces written by Hildegard and Glass, as well as Felix Mendelssohn, Nicola Porpora, Arne Mellnas, and Mount Holyoke’s own Peter Jones. Abbey Chapel. 50 College St, South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, April 3, 3pm-5pm
MUSIC STUDIES/STRINGED INSTRUMENTS
How many stringed instruments can you name? There are guitars, lutes, ukuleles, mandolins, violins, the list goes on. These instruments vary in all sorts of ways including their pitch, their size, and their tuning. Instruments in the violin family are held along one arm, or placed upright between the legs, as opposed to guitars, ukuleles and mandolins. The group Arcadia Viols plays various instruments in the violin family. In this performance at Bard College at Simon’s Rock the group will play music written by 17th century composers and some current composers. The group Arcadia Viols is committed to preserving the historical culture of vocal and instrumental music through their performances of 17th century works. Kellogg Music Center. 84 Alford Rd, Great Barrington, MA(>$)

Sunday, April 3, 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! Please call 413-229-7004 to register. 48 S Main St, Sheffield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, April 3, 3pm-5pm
COMPUTER SCIENCE/CODING
Do you have an idea for a great mobile app? Learn to make it at Holyoke Codes! Everyone ages ten and up is welcome to come learn how to use App Inventor, a development platform. You’ll learn how to add the sprites, images, buttons, and sounds which are the foundation of games and educational applications! If you don’t have an idea for an app, come learn the basic skills first and get inspired with other coders. Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center 100 Bigelow St. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, April 3, 4pm
MUSIC HISTORY/BEETHOVEN
Ludwig Van Beethoven is a figure often discussed in music classes from elementary school up to college and beyond. In addition to the impact Beethoven had on Classical music, he also led a difficult life and lost his hearing in his late twenties. Due to his talent, historical impact, and fascinating personal life, he has been a prominent figure in both musical and historical studies. Dr. Jeremy Yudkin, Professor of Music at Boston University, spent substantial time in Europe, studying primary source documents related to Beethoven’s life, including autographed scores. Some of these materials, for example Beethoven’s sketchbooks, have not been thoroughly analyzed in the literature about his life. Yudkin intends to publish his analysis of Beethoven’s life and work in a new book. You can hear about his discoveries and research experiences firsthand at the Lenox Library.413-637-0197. 18 Main St, Lenox, MA. (FREE)

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Monday, April 4th, 2016

Monday, April 4, 5:30-6pm
COMMUNITY MEAL
Enjoy a delicious meal with friends, family and neighbors at The Egg and I while supporting the Gaylord Memorial Library in South Hadley. Your purchase of spaghetti and meatballs, salad, roll, beverage and ice cream will help purchase resources and provide educational programming for you and your community. 26 Main St, South Hadley, MA. (<$)

Monday, April 4, 5:30pm-7pm
EARLY LITERACY
There are tons of ways to get your young children more comfortable with reading and ultimately help them grow to love books. Creating safe, encouraging spaces where they can learn to read and providing them with books to choose from are two good steps. This four part (March 14, 21, 28, April 4) parent-child reading workshop 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 for similar events in the future. 413-586-4900-Option 3. 45 Amherst Rd. Pelham, MA. (FREE)

Monday, April 4, 6pm-8pm
ECOLOGY/CITIZEN SCIENTIST
Vernal pools provide the perfect breeding ground for spotted salamanders, wood frogs, tiny mussels, fairy shrimp, and many other creatures. These habitats provide rich biodiversity for New England forests and are a great resource for nature lovers who want to learn about the wide array of living things who inhabit them. These habitats can easily be destroyed, however. You can help by learning how to identify and protect a vernal pool through this workshop at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. Depending on the species inhabiting a vernal pool, the pool can be certified and protected through a government agency. Call 413-584-3009 to register. 127 Combs Road. Easthampton, MA. (Members <$. Non members $)

Monday, April 4, 8:30pm
LOCAL HISTORY/POETRY/MUSIC
Emily Dickinson’s poetry has inspired musical interpretations and adaptations from composers such as Judith Weir, Simon Holt, and Aaron Copland, to name a few. Ellen Gilson Voth, director of the chamber choir Novi Cantori, will give a brief talk at the Emily Dickinson Museum on the ways in which Emily Dickinson’s poetry has been set to music. Novi Cantori will also perform excerpts from their program, “Voices of New England.” 413-542-8161. 280 Main Street, Amherst 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, April 5th, 2016

Tuesday, April 5, 10am-4pm
PICTURE BOOK ART: EXHIBITION
The Catholic celebration of Easter is over, and the Greek Orthodox celebration has not yet come, but there is one type of Easter egg you can hunt for year-round! The term “Easter egg” in media refers to intentionally hidden messages and jokes in films, television shows, video games, picture books and more. Come to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art from April 5th through August 28th to learn about the “Easter eggs” this famous illustrator incorporated into his children’s books.This is a great opportunity for fans of Carle’s work to take a closer look at his images, and learn more about him on a personal level. Carle often inscribed his own initials, or those of his friends and family, into his artwork. 413-559-6300. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. (<$)

Tuesday, April 5, 4pm-6pm
CULINARY/SKILLSHARING
Getting your young children involved in the process of preparing meals helps them feel empowered. Children who are engaged in the process of preparing their meals are more likely to choose nutritional food options. Help your child associate healthy foods with positive experiences through this fun cooking workshop at Berkshire South Regional Community Center. This program is open to children ages 5-8 and consists of four, two-hour sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays in April. Please pre-register at least 48 hours in advance. 413-528-2810. 15 Chrissey Road, Great Barrington, MA. ($$)

Tuesday, April 5, 6pm-7:30pm
DANCE STUDIES
Duncan style dancing breaks away from traditional ballet conventions into the realm of free and natural movements, drawing inspiration from ancient Greece. You can learn Duncan style waltzes and choreography in a four part workshop from Ballet Renversé. Branch out into this new form of dance which is known for being highly expressive and innovative. For more information and registration please contact Ballet Renversé at balletrenversesf@gmail.com or call 413-625-6442. Classes will take place at the Buckland-Shelburne Elementary School on April 5, 12, 26, and May 3. 75 Mechanic St, Shelburne Falls. ($$$)

Tuesday, April 5, 6pm-7:30pm
PARENTING SUPPORT/EMOTIONAL HEALTH
Managing emotions and communicating essential skills for all areas of life. 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 manage emotions. This is the fourth of six workshops taking place atErving 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, April 5, 6:30pm
MUSIC STUDIES/JAZZ
If you are a fan of jazz music, then you are most likely familiar with the concept of improvisation. In jazz, there is typically a set structure for a song, and designated times for musicians to improvise solos, making them up as they go along. Musicians in other genres improvise as well, sometimes as a means of writing and developing a song, and sometimes during live performances. Gideon Freudmann will be making frequent use of improvisation during his cello performance at the Whately Library when he plays classical, blues, jazz, electronic, funk and folk music. Please RSVP at 413-665-2170. Whately, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, April 5, 6:30pm-8pm
PARENTING/LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT
Communication is essential for education, workplace readiness, and personal relationships. The Special Education Parent Advisory Council invites you to Gateway Regional High School for a discussion on language development through play. Speakers will teach parents games and activities they can play with their families to improve their children’s vocabularies. Improving vocabulary can help with both written and verbal skills, and help your children develop as readers. The group will also highlight strategies for prioritizing family play time even amongst busy schedules. 12 Littleville Road. Huntington, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, April 5, 7pm
EDIBLE PLANTS/PERENNIALS
For most of human history, people lived by foraging wild plants and hunting wild animals. We are lucky to have the nutritional knowledge we do now about food, yet we have lost a good deal of our understanding about edible plants. In this workshop at the Jones library you will learn about the trees, shrubs, vines, canes, and herbaceous perennials that flourish in New England, and the fruits, nuts, and vegetables which can be harvested from these plants. This group will discuss the medicinal benefits of plants, as well as techniques for planting and growing food on your own. Making the decision to grow edible plants in your garden is a learning experience and a worthwhile investment into your physical health. Participants who have children can think about ways to educate their kids about edible plants and getting the whole family involved in caring for them. This can teach your child patience and responsibility. For more information please call 413-259-3223. Woodbury Room. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, April 5, 7:30pm
FRENCH THEATER
Are you a fan of foreign films? How about foreign theater? Mount Holyoke College is bringing you the rare opportunity to witness French theater with English subtitles. Répertoires will be performed by five French actors. This play is presented as a “rehearsal in progress,” and will show various scenes from classic French plays. This is a wonderful crash course in French theater for those new to the subject or knowledgeable fans. Call 413-540-0200 to reserve a seat. Rooke Theater. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

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

  • 8:45am-10:15am – PLAYGROUP: The Community Network for Children hosts a playgroup for newborns through preschool-aged children with their caregivers at the Swift River School every Tuesday through June 30, 2016. It may not run on school holidays and in inclement weather; please call ahead to check. 978-544-5157. 201 Wendell Road, New Salem, MA. (FREE)
  • 9am-10am — PLAYGROUP : Weekly playgroup at Egremont Elementary School sponsored by Pittsfield CFCE. 413-441-0974. 84 Egremont Avenue, Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: Every Tuesday, Community Health Programs of Berkshire County hosts Toddler Steps, a playgroup for children ages 18 months- 3 years with their caregivers. 413-644-0104. 442 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11am – PLAYGROUP: Playgroup for young kids ages birth-preK at the Dickinson Memorial Library with Deb Wood features fun toys and more! Every Tuesday. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Easthampton Family Center is open every Monday, Tuesday, and Friday for drop-in playgroup and activities for kids ages 5 and under. The Family Center follows the Easthampton Public Schools schedule. 413-527-5496. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Northampton Parents Center will be open Monday-Thursday from 9:30am-11:30am for playgroup, toys, books, activities, and more. Kids ages 5 and under and their caregivers can drop in to meet and play with others. 413-582-2636. 297 Main Street, Lower Level. Northampton, MA. (DONATION)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Frontier Regional CFCE is offering a playgroup for kids ages 5 and under every Tuesday and Friday at Sunderland Elementary School through June 10, 2016. Follows Sunderland school schedule. 413-665-8928. 1 Swampfield Drive. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – SCHOOL READINESS: There will be a school readiness program every Tuesday at the Hilltown Family Center. 413-667-2203. 9 Russell Road. Huntington, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Young children and their caregivers are invited to participate in the Explore & Play playgroup, sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County, which meets Tuesday mornings. 413-644-0104. 1 North Main Road, Otis, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-12pm — PLAYGROUP: Children ages 0-5 and their parents are invited to a playgroup at the Belchertown Family Center every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday morning. 413-835-5201. 720 Franklin Street, Belchertown, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am – PARENT GROUP: Nursing Families group every Tuesday at the Haskins Center. 413-664-4821. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11am – STEAM: Preschool-age children can learn about science, technology, engineering, art, and math at the Dalton Free Public Library every Tuesday! There will be a story, a lesson, and a STEAM project. 413-684-6112. 462 Main Street. Dalton, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11am – STORYTIME: Join the Greenfield Public Library for a weekly storytime year-round! This event includes stories, songs, fingerplays, and crafts for kids age five and under. 413-772-1544 x5. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11:30pm – PLAYGROUP: The Westhampton Public Library will have a baby and toddler play time every Tuesday at 11am. They also offer a playgroup for children ages 0-5 and their caregivers on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month which begins at 10am. Kids can come play with toys, do a craft, read a book, and make new friends at this fun playgroup, year-round. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11:30am – LITERACY: Kids ages 2-5 can attend a literacy group at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Westfield. Come with a parent or caregiver and practice reading skills! Runs every Tuesday. 413-568-5242. 28 West Silver Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11:30am – PARENT SUPPORT GROUP: It Takes a Village Mother’s Circle runs every Tuesday at St. John’s Corner House. Come talk about motherhood with others in a supportive and caring environment. Expectant mothers welcome, and infants can attend, and there is childcare for older children. Follows the Mohawk Trail school schedule. 413-650-3640. 469 Main Street. Ashfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-5pm – WOODWORKING:The Shakers are known for their beautiful and simple handcrafted utilitarian objects. Visit the Hancock Shaker Village any Tuesday to watch master woodworkers create oval boxes using traditional tools and techniques. Borrow a free museum pass from the library. 413-443-0188. 1843 West Housatonic Street, Pittsfield, MA. (FREE for members and children 12 and under; $)
  • 10:15am-11:45am – CRAFTING: What better way to prepare for a cozy New England winter than to complete those knitting projects? Knitting alongside others also builds community and increases skills. The Storrs Library in Longmeadow offers a Novel Knitters drop-in program for adults where you can bring your own projects and supplies or participate in ongoing community projects. All levels of expertise are welcome. 413- 565-4182. Storrs Library, 693 Longmeadow St., Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30 – STORYTIME/SINGING: children ages 6 through 18 months are invited to the Berkshire Museum every Tuesday for storytime, singing, language learning and play. Caregivers are encouraged to use this time to socialize and discuss parenting experiences. There will be physical activities for the children as well. Cost is included with regular museum admission. 413-443-7171 x21. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($ Adults. >$ Children)
  • 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)
  • 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, April 6th, 2016

Wednesday, April 6, 12pm
PUBLIC WORKS/BIOLOGY
If you’re lucky enough to have running water in your home, you turn the faucet on, and water comes out. You push a level and your toilet flushes. But where does the water come from? Where does it go? This is your chance to tour the Amherst wastewater facility and see what goes on there. For one thing, tiny microorganisms in the wastewater are able to feed on biodegradable matter. Learn about the ways in which humans have exploited natural biological processes in order to treat wastewater. Please call the Hitchcock Center for the Environment at 413-256-6006 to register. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, April 6, 12:30pm-2pm
GUIDED HIKE/NATURE STUDIES
Beautiful Basin Pond has twice been dammed by humans, to disastrous failure both times. Currently, beavers maintain a dam on the pond and thus have created a gorgeous wetland habitat. You can explore trails maintained by the Berkshire National Resources Council on this 2.5 mile long guided group hike. You will see stone walls and views of the pond on this moderately difficult exploration. Email mleavitt@bnrc.net with any questions. Lee, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, April 6, 12:30-1:30
WELLNESS WORKSHOP
What are your health goals? Since the mind and body are intricately connected, making one seemingly small change can have a far-reaching impact on your overall sense of well-being. Berkshire Health Systems will be holding a four week workshop series on healthy eating, exercise, stress reduction and more. Participants will receive a wellness screening. Each participant will identify his or her own personal goals and hear strategies for taking small steps in the direction of a healthier lifestyle. Join others interested in making these small changes, at the Adams Visitor Center. 3 Hoosac Street. Adams, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, April 6, 6pm
HISTORY/ARCHITECTURE
What do you think of when you think of New England landscapes? You might picture colonial style houses, a mix or early and modern architecture, and plenty of stone walls. Kevin Gardner, a builder and restorer of traditional New England stone walls, will be discussing their emergence and significance to the landscape at theGreenfield Public Library. He will demonstrate how stone walls are built by designing a mini, tabletop stone wall. 413-772-1544. 402 Main St, Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, April 6, 6:30pm
MUSIC LESSONS
Are you a beginner mandolin player? Bring your mandolin to the Storrs Library for this three part series of mandolin lessons! For those who don’t know, the mandolin is a string instrument in the lute family. This instrument originated in Italy. In the United States it is often utilized to play folk, celtic or bluegrass music. One Wednesday a month, April 6, May 4th and June 1st, join other beginners as you grow into more knowledgeable and skilled musicians. Seth Roberts of The Blueberry Hill Boys will get you started with the basics at this first session. Email questions to: asethroberts@gmail.com. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow St, Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday April 6, 7pm
MUSIC STUDIES/CHAMBER CHOIR
“Le Chœur Homilius,” a 20-voice chamber choir, are making a stop in Amherst on their international tour from their home in Avignon, France. You can hear their a capella performances of sacred music from the 16th to the 21st centuries at the First Congregational Church. Contact 413-315-3440 with questions. 165 Main Street. Amherst, MA. (DONATION)

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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)
  • 9am-12pm – TRACKING CLUB The Berkshire Environmental Action Team invites you to join their monthly tracking club, running through August every first Wednesday and third Saturday of the month. You will learn tracking skills and general naturalist skills, and use this ability to gather data on local wildlife. Check the website BEAT for details and locations. 413-429-6416. Various locations. ($)
  • 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)
  • 10am-12pm – GRANDFAMILIES SUPPORT GROUPThe term “grandfamilies” refers to families that are created when a relative or friend raises other relatives children. There are many reasons for grandfamilies to emerge, and each grandfamily experiences its own joys as well as difficulties. This support group for grandfamilies meets every fourth Wednesday of the month at the Hilltown Family Center. 413-667-2203. 9 Russell Rd. Huntington, 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-5pm — YOUNG WRITERS: Tweens and young teens who have stories to tell can practice and get tips from author and teacher Nell Wright on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month during the school year at the Greenfield Public Library. Come sharpen your writing skills and get feedback on your work. Limited to eight participants; pre-registration required. For ages 10-14. 413-772-1544. 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, April 7th, 2016

Thursday, April 7, 12:15pm-1:15pm
HORTICULTURE/HISTORY
What is the difference between a traditional French garden and an English garden? English gardens are less formal while French gardens utilize symmetry. English gardens, emerging in the early 18th century, broke from the French tradition of order. Come to the Springfield Museums to learn more at this talk, “The English Garden: Perfection on Earth.” Lecturer Curt DiCamillo will walk you through the history with plenty of photographs to illustrate the cultural impact of English gardens. 413-314-6488. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. (<$)

Thursday, April 7, 5pm-8pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES/BOTANY
Flower arranging is an art and a science. An arranger of fresh flowers must cut the stems and place them in the right amount of water at the right temperature to keep the flowers alive. At the same time, the arranger must think about color, shape, placement of the flowers and trimming for the best look. Explore the Springfield Museums of art, history, and science while also taking in the sight of gorgeous flower arrangements at every location. This 4th annual Festival of Flowers will also have a Floral Fashion Show with models displaying accessories created with flowers. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. (Non members $ Members <$)

Thursday, April 7, 5:30pm-7pm
SPORTS/SWIMMING
Do you want to learn to swim, or improve your swimming technique? The Polar Bears Masters Swim Team will be teaching adult swim lessons at four levels of instruction. Register for one of two sessions: 5:30 – 6:15pm or 6:15 – 7:00pm on Thursdays, April 7, 14, 21 and 28. Even if you are afraid of being in the water, you are welcome and encouraged to attend a session and become more comfortable with the help of these instructors. Register in person at the Berkshire Family YMCA, Pittsfield Branch. Email any questions to Aquatics Manager, Ashley Kirchner at akirchner@pittsfieldfamilyymca.org or call 413-499-7560. 292 North Street, Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, April 7, 6:30pm
LANGUAGE ARTS/POETRY SHARE
With the rise of free verse and prose poetry, the poetic form has become harder and harder to pin down or define. You’re invited to share a poem, whether it is famous or obscure, rhythmic or free form, rhyming or not, at the Meekins Library. Come hear a wide range of poems selected by members of your community. For more information call 413-268-7472 or email rwildfong@cwmars.org. 2 Williams St, Williamsburg, MA.

Thursday, April 7, 7:30pm
MUSIC STUDIES/CHAMBER MUSIC
All are welcome to the Amherst Regional High School chamber music showcase, feating duets, trios and quintets of brass, wind, and percussion musicians. Wesley United Methodist Church. 98 N. Maple Street, Hadley, MA. (DONATION)

Thursday, April 7, 7:30pm
THEATER/CONTEMPORARY MYSTERY
At Corpus Christi College in Cambridge, students have been telling the story of a ghost who haunts the old master’s lodge for generations. In 1913, four students, haunted by forbidden feelings of their own, decide to contact and exorcise this ghost once and for all. But do they know the real story, and can they exorcise a ghost they can’t understand? Flashback to 1632, when Dr. Henry Bury, master of the college, is wrongfully accused of necromancy. He begins to hear sounds in the room he can’t explain, as he spirals deeper and deeper toward inevitable tragedy. But who does he hear? And how can he ever express what he most needs to say? An Exorcism in Cambridge is a suspenseful and thrilling new play that will have audiences on the edge of their seat! Performance will be held in the Mendenhall Center for Performing Arts at Smith College. 413-585-3201. 122 Green Street, Northampton, 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, April 8th, 2016

Friday, April 8, 8am-10am
ORNITHOLOGY
The many species of birds called “warblers” are not necessarily closely related, but have similar characteristics. They are small, vocal birds whose diet consists of insects. “Warble” is an old English word which used to mean “melody.” Come look, and listen, for wood warblers at Canoe Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary. You will observe several species of birds in this rich habitat of meadows and wetlands. This is an adult program; however, participants are welcome to bring along their interested teens. Beginners are welcome and registration is not required. Please bring binoculars. 413-637-0320. Holmes Rd, Pittsfield, MA. (<$)

Friday, April 8, 8:30am-4:30pm
CHILDCARE SUPPORT/ARTS, CRAFTS, SPORTS
Children in grades 1-5 in the Northampton Public Schools can spend teacher professional days with their peers doing fun, supervised activities including swimming, open gym, outdoor games, and craft projects. Pre-registration is required. 413-587-1040. Aquatic and Family Center at JFK Middle School, 100 Bridge Road, Florence, MA. ($$)

Friday, April 8, 10am-11am
GRANDPARENTS’ GROUP
Grandparents face their own challenges, separate from parenting. The purpose of this group is to provide grandparents with a space to connect and share their experiences. A lunch will be provided for participants as well as children (in childcare) during the event. Whether you are a new grandparent or have several grandchildren, this is a great way to make new friends, and become familiar with the resources at the Ware Family Center. Get to know other grandparents in your community as this group meets April April 1, 8 and 15. 413-967-8127. 49 Church Street, Ware, MA. (FREE)

Friday, April 8, 10am-11:30am
POETRY/AGING
Ann Marie Meltzer, Grandparent Mentor at the Amherst Family Center will be reading from her recently published book of poems, entitled Coming of Age. This is a great opportunity to meet an expert on the topic of grandparenting, become acquainted with the Amherst Family Center, and celebrate a local poet. For more information contact Sue Kelly by calling 413-256-1145 or emailing afc@umass.edu. Amherst Family Center. 1200 N. Pleasant St., Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Friday, April 8, 10am-11:45am
THEATER STUDIES/SHAKESPEARE
Shakespeare has had one of the longest lasting impacts of any writer. His plays from the 16th and 17th century are still performed regularly and are often required reading in high school. Even if his works fell out of popularity he would still have an enduring impact on the English language, since he invented hundreds of words we use every day including “amazement,” “hint,” “mimic,” “lonely,” “generous,” and “secure.” Hear some of Shakespeare’s words in action at the Tina Packer Playhouse performance of Macbeth. A post-show discussion will follow. 413-637-1199 x131. 70 Kemble Street. Lenox, MA. ($)

Friday, April 8, 1pm-6pm
MUSIC STUDIES/SOCIAL MOVEMENTS
While the exact origins of punk are a matter of contention, it is safe to say that the subculture emerged in the mid 1970s in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. The word “punk” refers to a musical genre, a philosophy, and a movement. Politically, punk music and its fans are associated with anarchism. The aesthetic of punk music, fashion, and art is one of minimalism and individual empowerment. The association with zines, for example, points to a distrust of mainstream media sources and a do-it-yourself attitude. The UMass Amherst W.E.B. Du Bois Library will be hosting “Documenting Punk” for its 11th annual social change colloquium. Speakers will discuss ways in which to chronicle and preserve the rise of this subculture. Campus Center Room 163. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Friday, April 8, 7pm-9pm
PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT/FOLK MUSIC
It has been argued that poetry may actually predate literacy. Rhythm and rhyme were possibly first used as mnemonic devices, recited as a way of remembering oral history, genealogy, or even law. The fact that poetry may have first been recited or sung, blurs the lines between musical lyrics and written verse. Come to Great Falls Discovery Center to hear folk band Windborne play contemporary and traditional folk music. American folk music, like poetry, often tells a story. In addition to American folk traditions, Windborne often include original songs from Corsica, the Republic of Georgia, Bulgaria, Quebec, and Basque country in their performances. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA. (DONATION)

Friday, April 8, 7:30pm
CONTEMPORARY THEATER/EXISTENTIAL
Exit Stage Left is an original play by Smith College student Zoe Rose Kriegler-Wenk (’18). Exit Stage Left asks the question: do you ever wonder if part of your life is scripted for you? For Kasey, Oscar, Laura, and Lexi, this is not just a theoretical question that crosses one’s mind in moments of existential wonderment, but an ingrained part of their reality. Everyone received their Character Description, Title, and Cast List in the mail at the precise moment they were expected. Everyone, that is, except Kasey. Her Cast List brings with it many surprises about the world of the actors, author, and the audience. This delightful new play explores the concepts of social hierarchy, individual ambitions, and personal relationships through the allegory of theater. Performances will be held in the Mendenhall Center for Performing Arts at Smith College. Space is limited so please arrive early if you plan to attend. 122 Green Street, Northampton, MA. (FREE)

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

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