Suggested Events for April 9th-15th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

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

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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 9

Montessori School of Northampton to Hold Family Open House on Saturday, April 9 from 10:30am-12noon. All parents of toddler, preschool, kindergarten, elementary and middle school students interested in September 2016 admission are encouraged to attend. Families will have an opportunity to tour the school, meet teachers, experience and learn about Montessori math materials, and speak with the Director of Admissions and the Head of School. Applications are currently being accepted for all levels for September 2016, which will begin MSN’s 40th year of fostering independent learners in a welcoming community. The school is located at 51 Bates Street, Northampton, and can be reached at 413-586-4538 or info@northamptonmontessori.org.

Apr 9-24

The New England Air Museum will hold family fun school vacation week programs from April 9-24. Explore three giant hangars filled with over 80 aircraft and experience the wonders of flight. A variety of activities will be offered daily including hands-on build and fly challenges, open cockpit experiences aboard real aircraft, aircraft scavenger hunts, and more! The Museum’s Flight Sim Spot will also be open daily between 11am-3pm. The Flight Sim Spot allows visitors to use state-of-the-art simulators using real cockpit controls and suitable for ages 10 and up. In addition, docents will be on hand to interact with the visitors. NEAM is located in Windsor Locks, CT. For more info call 860-623-3305 or visit www.neam.org.

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.

Apr 17-22

Earth Day, April School Vacation at Springfield Museums: April 17-22. Spring has sprung at the Springfield Museums! There’s a variety of family-friendly events and activities happening all month long, starting with the 25th annual Earth Day Festival on Sunday, April 17 from 11am-4pm, with music, environmental displays, and live animal demonstrations. The fun continues Monday April 18 through Friday April 22 (10am-5pm each day) with the “Claws, Paws, Scales, and Tales” programs, featuring tons of hands-on activities and family shows like Jungle Jim’s Jedi Knight Training, plus the ongoing exhibit, Wolf to Woof: The Story of Dogs. For more information, visit springfieldmuseums.org.

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

Open House: 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.

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.

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LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
April 9th-15th, 2016

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Donate Now Events Happening in the Hilltowns

Saturday, April 9, 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 9, all day
NATURE ADVENTURES/INTERGENERATIONAL
Have you ever taken a trip to Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary in Easthampton and Northampton, or Pleasant Valley in Lenox? Now is your chance to visit and participate in outdoor educational events for free in celebration of Mass Audubon’s 100th year. There are events for naturalists of all ages including crafting, guided walks and hikes, vernal pool exploration and other hands on activities. Check the Arcadia and Pleasant Valley websites for full schedule and details. Easthampton, Northampton and Lenox, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 9, 7am-10am
ORNITHOLOGY
Identifying birds by their calls is a great introduction to both nature studies and music theory. Do you know what a “major third” sounds like? This is an interval of two whole steps on a major scale, and it is used by the white-throated sparrow in one of their two main bird songs.You don’t have to know anything about music to identify birds by their calls, however. You just have to learn what sounds to listen for. Join naturalist and photographer John Green at Graves Farm Wildlife Sanctuary for a guided walk and lesson in bird identification.This event is recommended for adults and self-directed teens. 413-584-3009. Adams Road. Williamsburg, MA. (Members <$. Non members $)

Saturday, April 9, 8:30am-10am
ORNITHOLOGY/INTERGENERATIONAL
This six part series for young people ages 8-13 and their parents will serve as a crash course into bird identification. Families will learn to identify birds by sight, sound, and behavior. In doing so they will also learn about ecology, biology, and local habitats. Spring is the perfect time to learn about migrating species of birds. See how many birds you can learn to identify over the course of this beginner birding workshop, to take place on Saturdays: April 9, 16, 23, 30 and May 7, 14. Locations will vary each week in order for participants to see a wide range of natural life. Please register with the Hitchcock Center for the Environment. 413-256-6006. 525 S Pleasant St, Amherst, MA. ($$$)

Saturday, April 9, 9:30am-11am
ENGINEERING/CREATIVE-FREE PLAY
Playing with LEGOs, especially LEGO sets without instructions or a specific goal, opens up children to creativity while improving their dexterity and fine motor skills. As children grow older their creations become more complex. LEGO play can be the start of a lifelong interest in building things whether that means carpentry, architecture, or any number of D.I.Y. projects. Your four to fourteen-year-old LEGO lover is invited to showcase his or her skills at the Lenox Library. Please bring your own set of LEGOs from home. Participants will have forty five minutes to create a display, followed by a forty five minute showcase. The theme is outer space. Registration is required for this program. Call 413-637-0197. 18 Main St, Lenox, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 9, 9:30am-12pm
ECOLOGY/VERNAL POOLS
Do your children like to observe wildlife in rivers, ponds, or oceans? Teach them about a different kind of aquatic habitat: vernal pools. These temporary accumulations of rain water house a surprising number of creatures! Come to the Hitchcock Center for the Environment and wear your rubber boots for an exploration of vernal pools. Participants will have the chance to catch and observe creatures before returning them back to their vernal pool home. Open to adults and children ages 8 and up. Registration is required. 413-256-6006. 525 South Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. ($)

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

Saturday, April 9, 9:30am-4pm
LIBRARY ADVENTURES/INTERGENERATIONAL
Play mini golf inside the Holyoke Public Library! Bond with your family members through a little friendly competition and see your local library in a new light. All ages welcome. No registration necessary. Get your putter, golf ball, and scorecard in the lobby. Regular library services will still be available on a limited basis. See the Holyoke Public Library website for more information. 413-420-8110. 250 Chestnut Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 9, 9:30am-9pm
FARMING/COMMUNITY NETWORKING
The Sirius Community of Shutesbury invites current and aspiring farmers to meet and discuss the concept of farm-based communities. The Sirius Community is a non-profit, educational group dedicated (among other goals) to ecologically sustainable living. Come share what you know and ask questions. Please bring a potluck dish and a bowl/utensils for your own use. Any questions can be directed to farmingincommunity@gmail.com. 72 Baker Rd, Shutesbury, MA. ($ DONATION)

Saturday, April 9, 10am
LOCAL HISTORY/GUIDED WALK
The Northampton Association of Education and Industry was an organization united over several prevailing, egalitarian values including a desire to abolish slavery. The community boasted such famous figures as member Sojourner Truth and frequent lecturer Frederick Douglass. The David Ruggles Center for Early Florence History invites you to learn about this organization through primary source documents and still existing architectural structures on this guided hike. 225 Nonotuck St, Florence, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 9, 10am-12pm
ECOLOGY/VERNAL POOLS
The nightly chorus of bugs and frogs is a sign of warmer weather. Did you know that in addition to ponds, some frogs make their habitat out of temporary pools of rainwater known as vernal pools? Discover these rich habitats for yourself through a slideshow and a nature adventure at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. Families with children ages 4 and up are invited to help look for wood frogs, peepers, egg masses, and invertebrates. 413-584-3009. 127 Combs Rd, Easthampton, MA. (<$)

Saturday, April 9, 10am-12pm
EARLY CHILDHOOD/STORYWALK/CREATIVE-FREE PLAY
Does your young son or daughter want to learn about vehicles by visiting a school bus, a police car, fire engine and dump truck? Bring them to the Jackson Street School for the children’s festival! This event is part of The Week of Young The Child, a celebration of children and those who teach and take care of them. Kids will have the chance to play together on the playground and participate in brain building games. There will be mats for kids to tumble on, and lots of information for parents. Take a “storywalk” with your family and see the pages of a popular children’s book mounted along a path. This event is best suited for children around ages three to seven and their caregivers. 413-587-1471. 120 Jackson St, Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 9, 10am-2pm
PRESCHOOL OPEN HOUSE
Are you trying to choose a preschool for your child? The best way to learn about local schools is to visit, meet teachers, and ask questions. This open house at the R.H. Conwell Preschool will allow you to do just that. There will also be fun activities like crafting and games. You will have an opportunity to explore the playground as well as the woods. This school’s full or half day program for children 2.9 to 5 years old includes nature-based learning inside and outside of the classroom. If you think your child could benefit from learning through plenty of creative outdoor play, consider this school for immediate or fall 2016 enrollment. 413-238-5856. 147 Huntington Road, Worthington, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 9, 10am-8:30pm
LITERACY
Easthampton’s full day long BookFest has something for all literary fans. Whether you’re interested in novels, poetry, comic books, picture books, plays, zines, or all of the above, there is a panel just for you. There will be readings of prose and poetry, as well as performances of monologues and plays. Speakers, writers, and storytellers will discuss all aspects of books including an analysis of books as a physical object. Check out the event website for a full schedule of events and locations. Easthampton, MA. (Various. FREE – $$$)

Saturday, April 9, 10:30am-12pm
EDUCATION/MONTESSORI
Have you ever wondered if a Montessori school might be right for your child? In Montessori schools, children of different ages spend time learning together, allowing for a higher level of peer-to-peer teaching. The Montessori method of education puts considerable emphasis on individual interests. The Montessori School of Northampton is holding an open house for parents of toddler, preschool, kindergarten, elementary or middle school students interested in September 2016 admission. You will tour the school, meet teachers, learn about Montessori math materials, and speak with the Director of Admissions. Gain a greater understanding of this educational method and see if it may be right for your child. 413-586-4538. 51 Bates Street, Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 9, 10:30am-12pm
SCIENCE FESTIVAL
All children are scientists! Whether they like exploring their backyards, figuring out how machines operate, or playing with animals, your children are asking important and worthwhile questions about the world around them. Encourage their curiosity at the Children’s Science Festival, to take place at the Sunderland Elementary School. There will be animals, a fire and ice show, LEGOs, slime and more. Whether your children likes to get messy and participate, or learn by observing, they are sure to have a great time with other junior scientists. 413-665-1151 x 46. Swampfield Drive, Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 9, 10:30am-12:30am
STEM/ROBOTICS/CIRCUITS
Want to use your old phone, broken laptop or other electronic device to learn about circuitry? Bring your old electronics to the Westhampton Public Library and explore the science of electronic devices. Participants will also learn how to build a simple robot! Ages ten and up. Space is limited. Register by calling 413-527-5386. 1 North Rd. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 9, 12pm-12am
COLLABORATIVE ART
Collaborative art brings communities together and provides a visual example of what can be accomplished when groups work together rather than alone. Working in a large group takes the burden of creation off of any one individual and allows people to simply have fun, responding to what others have already drawn. . Offering something for everyone, the 2nd annual Hilltown Draw Around is a drawing dream: held in a local gymnasium, the event offers over 4,000 square feet of paper upon which to draw. Through creative, collaborative, and constant art-making for twelve hours straight, Draw Around participants will transform the space into a gigantic artwork filled with surprising and striking creations. Encouraging creative free-play, the Draw Around offers open-ended exploration of expression through a variety of materials. Proceeds benefit ARTeens. 51 Maple St, Shelburne Falls, MA. (DONATION)

Saturday, April 9, 1pm-3pm
SERVICE-BASED LEARNING/FOOD SECURITY
Celebrate National Volunteer Month at this Hilltown Families Family Volunteer Day with The Food Bank of Western MA. Volunteering together teaches children positive values, like kindness, empathy and tolerance, and opens up channels of communication between parent and child. Engaging children in community service can increase their participation as future volunteers, helping to create more resilient and sustainable communities. There will be a number of educational and hands-on activities for children and their caregivers at this event. Register online. 97 North Hatfield Road. Hatfield, MA (VOLUNTEER)

Saturday, April 9, 1pm
HORTICULTURE
From a decorative standpoint, container gardens have the advantage of being portable. You can arrange the plants within the containers as well as the containers in your yard. If you’ve been thinking about branching out into the world of container gardens, come to the Springfield Museums and attend a lecture and hands-on demonstration from Deborah Trickett, owner of The Captured Garden. This certified horticulturalist will give you tips on soil mixes and plant choices for different site conditions. 413.263.6800 ext. 459. 21 Edwards St. Springfield, MA. (FREE with museum admission $. 17 and under <$)

Saturday, April 9, 1pm-3pm
ECOLOGY/VERNAL POOLS
It’s Spring and the vernal pools are coming to life with fairy shrimp and other creatures. Fairy shrimp are crustaceans which live in salt lakes as well as temporary pools of rainwater and runoff known as vernal pools. Fairy shrimp swim upside down and filter food as they swim. You can see fairy shrimp, frog eggs, and other creatures up close as you explore vernal pools with experts and amateur community scientists. Please register by emailing office@kestreltrust.org. Specific meeting locations will be discussed via email. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 9, 1pm-3pm
SPORTS/INTERGENERATIONAL
Did you know that UMass Amherst has a Quidditch team? Harry Potter fans between the ages of seven through eighteen are invited to the Sunderland Public Library to learn from UMass players! This event gives local youth the opportunity to learn a new sport, which they are unlikely to learn elsewhere, from young adults. Please register by calling the library at 413-665 2642. 20 School Street, Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 9, 1pm-3pm
LOCAL HISTORY/ELECTRICITY/HYDROPOWER
Hydroelectricity is a form of electricity powered by the gravitational force of flowing water. At the time of its inception and for many years after, the Turners Falls hydroelectric concrete dam known as Cabot Station was the largest hydroelectric facility east of Niagara Falls. Come to the opening reception of “Vintage Powerhouse—Cabot Station: A One Hundred Year Retrospective” at the Great Falls Discovery Center to learn about local history, hydropower, and infrastructure. The Turners Dam also has three fish passage facilities in order to sustain these species. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 9, 2pm
WOMEN’S HISTORY/CIVIL WAR
Did you know that women fought for both sides during the Civil War? Discover the true stories of countless women who defied the expectations of their gender in time of war in order to support their cause. Ranger Krystal Vezina will present a special session in conjunction with the exhibit at the Springfield Armory National Historic Site: “At Camp in the Field – The Life of the Civil War Soldier.” 413-734-8551. Springfield Armory National Historic Site, One Armory Square, Suite 2. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 9, 2pm-4pm
NEW ENGLAND HISTORY
Do you have a stone wall in your yard? Have you ever wondered why they are so popular in New England? Join a local expert as he discusses the history of the New England stone wall. He will also explain technique, stylistic development, and aesthetics, and relate how and why New England came to acquire its thousands of miles of stone walls. His talk will detail the ways in which dry stone structures were built, how their styles emerged and changed over time, and their significance to the famous New England landscape. There will be ample time for questions. Hawlemont Elementary School, 10 School Street, Charlemont, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 9, 2pm-4pm
ART HISTORY/ILLUSTRATION
The 300 year old publication, The Saturday Evening Post, has built a reputation on showcasing fiction and non-fiction, as well as impressive cover art. Norman Rockwell illustrated the publication’s cover art for many years. Local illustrator Patrick O’Donnell will use Rockwell’s cover art as inspiration when he teaches his drawing techniques to families at the Norman Rockwell Museum. Free with museum admission. 413-298-4100. 9 MA-183, Stockbridge, MA. (Museum members and children under five FREE. Non members $)

Saturday, April 9, 4pm
WOMEN’S HISTORY/NEW ENGLAND
All too often, women’s perspectives are underrepresented in history books. Some historical authors, however, have dedicated themselves to remedying this, filling in the gaps with texts focused on women’s roles and lives. Local historian Carole Owens explores this topic in her book Remarkable Women of New England: Daughters, Wives, Sisters and Mothers: The War Years 1754 to 1787. This talk and Owen’s book will be of interest to anyone wishing to learn more about women’s history or local history. Owen’s book highlights many local figures including a woman named Anna Dix Orton Bingham, the first woman to have a tavern license in Berkshire County. This talk will take place at the Selectmen’s Meeting Room at the Stockbridge Town Offices. 50 Main Street. Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 9, 4pm
CONTEMPORARY THEATER/EXISTENTIALISM
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)

Saturday, April 9, 4:30pm
THEATER/LITERATURE IN TRANSLATION
The Frog and Toad books became an instant classic children’s series after the first iteration was published in 1970. Now, your whole family can see optimistic Frog and timid Toad come to life on stage at The Drama Studio. If your children are not familiar with these characters, the play could get them interested in reading the books. If they already love the story, they will be delighted to see Frog and Toad in person! 413-739-1983. 41 Oakland St, Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 9, 6:30pm-7:00pm
ART STUDIES/FIGURE DRAWING/CIRCUS
Artists, circus performers and interested audience members are invited to the Paragon Arts and Industry Building for a unique performance of physical and one-dimensional art. Show Circus students will perform their act and artists are invited to gather inspiration from their movements, recreating the performance in sketches on the page.Using the tools available, trained circus performers will serve as models for an audience of artists, exploring the form and figure unique to the motions of circus performance. During Circus Sketch Lab’s community events, performers will serve as models while also working to create a new performance – thus exposing vulnerabilities and allowing the audience to witness (and create from) their own creative process. Whether you would like to participate in the sketching or simply attend, please register for this event at the Big Top Quilts site. For more information, please contact: Audrey Hyvonen at audrey@bigtopquilts.com 413-230-0771. 150 Pleasant Street, Suite 313. Easthampton MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 9, 6pm-8pm
FAMILY DANCE PARTY
Children ages three through eleven are invited to get dressed up for a night of dancing with their mothers, fathers, uncles, aunts, grandparents or other family members. Get some exercise, take photos and make happy memories with your family and friends. There will be light snacks and drinks. To register for this event, please visit the West Springfield Parks and Recreation Department, 26 Central Street. The dance will take place in the UNICO Building in Mittineague Park, 1 UNICO Way,West Springfield, MA. ($$)

Saturday, April 9, 7pm
PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT
Enjoy a night out full of great food, music, and dancing at ArtSpark 2016. The silent auction throughout the night will benefit Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School. Local band Maxxtone will play both covers and original music. Eastworks. 116 Pleasant St, Easthampton, MA. (FUNDRAISER)

Saturday, April 9, 7:30pm
CONTEMPORARY THEATER/EXISTENTIALISM
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)

Saturday, April 9, 5:15 pm and 8pm
MUSIC STUDIES/PIANO
Two time GRAMMY winning pianist Maria Schneider is bringing her jazz and classical infused compositions to the Fine Arts Center at UMass Amherst. This event could be of interest to piano players of either jazz or classical traditions or both. To learn more about Schneider’s career and creative process, attend a free lecture at 5:15 pm. Music begins at 8pm. Tickets are available through the F.A.C. website. 151 Presidents Drive, Amherst, MA. ($$ – $$$. Five College, GCC and 17 & under <$)

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Sunday, April 10, 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 10. 8:30am-4pm
PLANT STUDIES
Make a visit to the Smith College’s Lyman Conservatory & Plant House where loads of learning opportunities awaiting your family! They offer an audio tour for both kids and adults, and a “Woods of the World” display that features panels of wood from over 170 trees from all around the world! With ten different indoor exhibits to explore, the learning possibilities offered by the conservatory are endless. 413-585-2740. 16 College Lane on the Smith College campus. Northampton, MA (FREE/Donations)

Sunday, April 10. 10-11am
PASSOVER/STORY HOUR
PJ Preschool Pals Hits the Road: “Make an Herb Head for Passover.” Join PJ Preschool Pals for a Passover story and craft activity, led by Lander-Grinspoon Academy’s first grade teacher, Rana Morrissey.​ Hands-on Jewish activities for 3-5 year olds.​ All are welcome! Yiddish Book Center. 1021 West St. Amherst, MA (FREE)

Sunday, April 10, 11:30am
MAPLE SUGARING/FORESTRY/GUIDED WALK
On this guided nature walk, licensed forester Tom Jenkins will teach participants about the American agricultural tradition of maple sugaring, as well as sustainable forestry. Trees are essential to the planet as they provide oxygen for all wildlife. Their wood has also become an integral part of human life. Luckily, low impact tree harvesting can be executed in a sustainable way, benefiting humans without negatively impacting wildlife. Learn how through this discussion. Get some exercise, fresh air, and learn something new. For specific location details and to register please email office@kestreltrust.org. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, April 10. 12pm-5pm
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)

Sunday, April 10, 1pm-3pm
INCLUSIVE SPORTS
Do you know a young soccer player who wants to brush up their skills or learn some new moves? Youth soccer players ages five and up are invited to play with UMass coaches and players! Ages 5-12 will play from 1-2pm, followed by 13 and up players from 2-3pm. All abilities are welcome. This is a great chance to play with professional coaches and older players. To register, Please email names and ages to: allinclusivesoccerclinic@gmail.com. University of Massachusetts Boyden soccer fields. Amherst, MA. (DONATION)

Sunday, April 10, 2pm
ITALIAN CULTURE/TRAVEL
What are the important customs you need to understand about a culture before visiting a new country? The Italian Cultural Center of Western Mass is holding a lecture and discussion on traveling to Italy. Discussion leaders will answer questions about customs and help you make the most of your trip. If you’re Italian, traveling to Italy will help you connect to your heritage. If you aren’t Italian, a trip to Italy can help you learn about an entirely new culture through viewing architecture, eating Italian food and interacting with residents. 413-784-1492. 56 Margaret Street. Springfield, MA. (<$)

Sunday, April 10, 2pm-4pm
FOOD HISTORY
Today, in New England and beyond, pie is a staple dessert during the winter holidays. In early American cuisine, sweet and savory pies were an integral part of diet year-round. Pilgrims brought to America their practice of pie making and developed their recipes with newly available ingredients. As part of Easthampton BookFest, Robert Cox will be discussing the history of pie. Robert Cox is head of special collections and archives at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and author of New England Pie: History Under A Crust. Learn about history and enjoy pie provided by Small Oven! Preregistration is required via the Easthampton BookFest site. The event will take place in Eastworks. 116 Pleasant St., 121 Club. Easthampton, MA. ($)

Sunday, April 10, 2pm-4pm
CULINARY ARTS/LITERACY/CREATIVE-FREE PLAY
If you could make a piece of art that describes your favorite book, what would it look like? If you created a food whose flavor matches your family’s favorite story, what would it taste like? And what do you think would happen if you combined your art piece with the book’s perfect flavor match? Create a real-life edible artistic masterpiece – just like you’ve imagined! – by participating in Forbes Library’s Edible Book event. An international event which began in 1999, entrants create cakes based on books, drawing inspiration from the book cover, the plot, the characters, or all of the above. This is a wonderfully open-ended, creative event. Participants in the contest win awards, and attendees, entrants, and judges all get to eat the books. This year the event will take place at the Florence Civic Center. 90 Park Street, Florence. (<$. Children ten and under FREE)

Sunday, April 10, 3pm-5pm
SHADOW PUPPETRY/INDONESIAN CULTURE
Learn about Indonesian culture through a live “wayang” performance. Wayang is a kind of puppetry, originating from Bali and incorporating narratives, rituals, music, and comedy. When wayang is used as a sacred Hindu ritual, there are specific guidelines for the techniques and melodies used in the music. Viewing this performance, “Wayang Kulit: Balinese Shadow-Puppetry and Music” at Smith College could inspire further interest in either the sacred or theatrical aspects of this art form. Earle Recital Hall. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, April 10, 4pm-5pm
PARENTING/MENTAL HEALTH
How do you promote healthy behaviors with your teenager? Maybe you discuss unhealthy habits like substance abuse. Maybe you try to lead by example, demonstrating healthy behaviors in your daily life. Parents benefit from frequent discussions of these issues with other parents, and assistance from experts in the field. Join Dr. Paul McNeill at Northampton Area Pediatrics for tips on preventing alcohol and marijuana use by your teen. 413-584-8700. 193 Locust St., Northampton, MA. (FREE)

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Monday, April 11, 2016

The New England Air Museum will hold family fun programs through April 24.

Monday, April 11, 10am-2pm
ENGINEERING/AEROSPACE
Give your children the chance to move past paper airplane building and into the wide world of model airplanes at the New England Air Museum. Airplane and space enthusiasts ages ten and up are invited to build and fly an AMA Delta Dart model airplane. This is a fantastic introduction to model building since there will be experts there to help every step of the way. Building model planes and other objects helps children improve their dexterity, patience, and ability to follow directions. And they feel the thrill of a job well done as they fly their model planes! 860-623-3305. 36 Perimeter Rd, Windsor Locks, CT. ($)

Monday, April 11, 6pm
ZOOLOGY/ANNELIDAS
Have you ever picked up an earthworm and seen it writhe around in your hand? This action occurs in response to the dehydrating quality of salt on human skin. If you are particularly concerned with the feelings of all living things, don’t pick up earthworms! Earthworms go by many names, including “rainworm”, “night crawler”, and “angleworm.” They also serve many purposes for humans, as they are used for fishing bait and also to enrich soil for gardeners. Come to the Greenfield Public Library where Tony of Tony’s Worm Farm in Hadley will teach you how to use earthworms to enrich your garden. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Monday, April 11, 7pm
HISTORY/POLITICS/LIBRARY SCIENCE
This month’s “Nerd Nite “at the World War II Club will feature two speakers on two different topics. Max Price will discuss domestication of pigs in what is now present day Turkey, and the political impact this act had. Muira McCammon will talk about the Guantánamo Bay Detainee Library. McCammon will be drawing upon declassified Department of Defense documents to give listeners a picture of the role and policies of this prison library. All prison libraries have strict policies about what type of materials they can house. Come to this multi faceted educational evening and learn about a wide range of political topics. 413-586-3315. 50 Conz St, Northampton, MA (>$)

Monday, April 11, 7pm
FILM STUDIES
Meet two filmmakers and graduates of Williams College, John Sayles and Maggie Renzi, before screening Sayles’ award-winning 1991 film, City of Hope (rated R). This film explores political corruption through a personal lens. It is about a fictional American city, in which the mayor is attempting to drive out low-income housing residents in order to erect condominiums for profit. John Sayles also appears in this film as an actor. If you have seen the film before, be sure to come with questions concerning Sayles’ acting or directing experience in its creation. Images Cinema. 413-458-5612. 50 Spring Street, Williamstown, MA. ($)

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

  • 9:30am-10:30am — PLAYGROUP : Weekly playgroup at Crosby Elementary School sponsored by Pittsfield CFCE. 413-441-0974. 517 West Street, Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11am – STORYTIME & MUSIC: Families with young children are invited to the Spear Memorial Library every Monday for a “Tales & Tunes” program with Katie Tolles, sponsored by the Community Network for Children. 413-259-1213. 10 Cooleyville Road, Shutesbury, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Easthampton Family Center is open every Monday, Tuesday, and Friday for drop-in playgroup and activities for kids ages 5 and under. The Family Center follows the Easthampton Public Schools schedule. 413-527-5496. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP/MUSIC: Parent-child playgroup at the Pelham Library offers a story, snack, music, and fingerplays. “Music for Little Ones,” with Wendy Plummer, follows at 10:30am. Ages birth-5 years. 413-253-0657. 2 South Valley Road, Pelham, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Northampton Parents Center will be open Monday-Thursday from 9:30am-11:30am for playgroup, toys, books, activities, and more. Kids ages 5 and under and their caregivers can drop in to meet and play with others. 413-582-2636. 297 Main Street, Lower Level. Northampton, MA. (DONATION)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Children ages 3-5 and their caregivers can join the Play N Learn playgroup each Monday morning, sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. Advance registration required. 413-644-0104. 442 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am – KNITTING: The Sunderland Public Library has a knitting group that runs every Monday. The group is open to knitters of all levels and ages. Great intergenerational activity to do with young homeschoolers. 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11am – LITERACY: Young children can have fun with books and reading at Wee Read at the Worthington Library every Monday. 413-238-5565. 1 Huntington Road. Worthington, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Playgroup for ages walking to 5 years every Monday at the Williamstown Youth Center. 413-458-5925. 66 School Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-12pm – PLAYGROUP: Young children and their caregivers are invited to Gym Fun, a playgroup that incorporates lots of movement. This group meets on Mondays and is sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. 413-644-0104. Town Hall, 21 State Line Rd., West Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Kids can come to the Forbes Library for a fun storytime every Monday. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Storrs Library offers a drop-in playgroup for kids ages 3 and under every Monday morning, ongoing. Come hear a story, sing songs, and enjoy free play. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am —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 12, 2016

The New England Air Museum will hold family fun programs through April 24.

Tuesday, April 12, 10am-3pm
PHYSICS/AEROSPACE
Boomerangs are a fun and fascinating toy. More than just a toy, however, the boomerang is one of humanity’s oldest inventions that can take flight on its own! The oldest known boomerang is estimated to be at least 20,000 years old and early iterations of the object were most likely used as hunting weapons. Boomerangs interesting scientifically, as well as historically. Just what is it that makes boomerangs come back? In short, one wing spins faster than the other. Come to the New England Air Museum to learn more about the physics of boomerangs and build your own to take home! 860-623-3305. 36 Perimeter Rd, Windsor Locks, CT. ($)

Tuesday, April 12, 2pm
COMMUNITY BUILDING/INTERGENERATIONAL
Tea and conversation were meant for each other. Meet some of your neighbors for Senior Tea at the Sunderland Public Library. Enjoy a scone, check out a book, and talk! 413-665 2642. 20 School Street, Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, April 12, 4pm
CHILD PSYCHOLOGY/EDUCATION
Anyone who has had an extended conversation with a three-year-old child knows that children are naturally curious; they want to learn. This fact is clearly demonstrated through all of the “Who?” “What?” “Why?” questions children are so eager to ask. Teacher and developmental psychologist Susan Engel points out, however, that curiosity is a relatively under-researched topic. Attend this twenty minute lecture followed by a discussion at Williams College and you can find out about the research Engel conducted on curiosity for her book, The Hungry Mind: the Origins of Curiosity in Childhood. Her research has interesting implications for both parents and educators. This lecture will take place in the Stetson Reading Room, Sawyer Library. 413-597-4277. Williams College. 880 Main St, Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, April 12, 4pm
D.I.Y./SKILLSHARE/CRAFTING
Duct tape isn’t just handy for repairing and adhering; you can make dozens of fun crafts with it. Participants ages twelve and up are invited to the Greenfield Public Library where they will learn how to make a wallet out of duct tape. Give your wallet some personality with your own crafty design. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, April 12, 6:30pm
MUSIC STUDIES/VOCALIST
Fans of jazz, pop, show tunes, and classical vocal styles are welcome to come to the Storrs Library to hear solo vocalist Laurie N. Festa perform. For those attendees unfamiliar with classical female vocalists of the 1940s, this will be a fun lesson in music history. Those who already appreciate this genre and time period are likely to enjoy Festa’s renditions. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow St. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, April 12, 6pm-7:30pm
PARENTING SUPPORT/EMOTIONAL HEALTH
Managing emotions and communicating effectively are lifelong skills we use every day. All young children struggle with regulating their emotions. Children feel frustrated with their lack of freedom and their limited (yet constantly growing!) abilities. In this workshop series, Certified Holistic Health Counselor Sarah Patton will provide strategies to help parents help their children regulate their emotions. This is the fifth of six workshops taking place at Erving Elementary School on 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 12, 6:30pm-8:30pm
ORNITHOLOGY
Do you like identifying birds? The American Woodcock, also known as the Timberdoodle, can be easily detected in Spring by sight and sound, if you know when and where to look, and what to look for. Meet in the Community Room at the Dickinson Memorial Library. Male woodcocks engage in a fascinating Spring mating ritual which involves distinct sounds and frantic flying. Attendees to this event will walk or drive to a field and sit quietly for about thirty minutes while watching and listening for woodcocks. Please bring a chair to sit on, dress warmly and wear dark colors. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, April 12, 7pm
FILM STUDIES
Screening locally made films is a great form of inspiration for all writers and visual artists. These film screenings are a good way to meet local people interested in making films. Sometimes, portions of these films may have been filmed in the area as well and it is fun to see local towns in a new light through someone else’s artistic lens. Come to The Parlor Room to witness the 2015 film, Universal Adapter Blues, directed by local filmmaker Thomas Matthew Campbell. 413-923-2800. 32 Masonic St, Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, April 12, 7pm
MUSIC STUDIES/PERCUSSION
Since the early 90s, STOMP has inspired audiences with their unique use of objects like trash cans, hubcaps and brooms to make heart-thumping percussive music. STOMP’s performances are an inspiration not only to percussionists, but to anyone interested in reusing found and unconventional objects in their artwork. You can see STOMP transform everyday things into instruments at the UMass Fine Arts Center. Get tickets on the FAC website or by calling 413-545-2511. Amherst, MA. ($$$. Five College, GCC and 17 & under $$-$.)

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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 13, 2016

Wednesday, April 13, 1pm-5pm
PLACEMAKING/LIBRARY SCIENCE
While some people are questioning the future of libraries in a digital world, the community-building component of public libraries will always serve an important purpose. According to a 2012 Pew Research Center report, library program attendance rose 4.1% between 2011-2012, and 37.6% between 2004 and 2012. Have you been to a program at any of the Springfield Library branches? Now is a great chance to find out what these libraries have to offer, at their open house. If you have a library card, you will be able to exchange it for a new one. If you don’t have a library card, bring identification and sign up for one. There will be programs and demonstrations at all branches throughout this open house. Come be part of a growing national trend of Americans seeking community and education through library programming. 413-263-6828, ext. 422. Springfield City Library at 220 State Street at all other branches. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, April 13, 5:30pm-7:30pm
STEM/ROBOTICS/ENGINEERING
This week, educators from Holyoke Codes invite robotics enthusiasts to build a LEGO catapult! Tweak your LEGO WeDo robotics launcher design to make a cotton ball launch higher, farther, or faster. Learn about robotics, engineering, physics and coding all while having a blast. In this workshop, participants will also use the online programming tool Scratch to incorporate a sensor into their launcher. Recommended for ages ten and up. This event will take place at the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center.100 Bigelow St. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, April 13, 6pm
MEDITATION/MANDALAS/COLORING
With the rise of adult coloring books, people everywhere are filling in mandala outlines for fun and relaxation. But did you know that the mandala has a rich history? The word “mandala” means “circle” in Sanskrit. Mandalas are Hindu objects of devotion. Before appearing in adult coloring books, mandalas were (and are) made out of wood, stone, cloth, walls, colored sand, and other artistic mediums. Learn about the history of mandalas and the benefits of adult coloring at the Greenfield Public Library. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, April 13, 6:30pm-7:30pm
SIGN LANGUAGE/POETRY/INCLUSION
American Sign Language can be fascinating to explore with young children, whose bodies are active and whose brains’ language centers are fast developing, as it combines both motion and linguistic understanding. Come to the Meekins Library for a poetry reading which will also be interpreted into American Sign Language. Ruth Lehrer and Paul Hostovsky are both poets and sign language interpreters who will be reading from their latest works. You can learn more about these writers at their websites, ruthlehrer.com and paulhostovsky.com. 413-268-7472. 2 Williams St, Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, April 13, 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 13, 1pm
BOOK DISCUSSION/AGING
Dr. Atul Gawande’s critically acclaimed, best-selling book, Being Mortal, is an insightful book for anyone, but it is particularly helpful for people dealing with the passing of a loved one. This book discussion at the Easthampton Public Library will be moderated by medical professionals from Cooley Dickinson Hospital. Come with questions. These medical professionals will be using Being Mortal and this discussion to form goals for the end-of-life care they provide at the hospital. Your participation and advice could have a significant impact on the hospital experience of countless families in the future. 413-527-1031. 9 Park Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, April 13, 5:30pm
PHILOSOPHY OF ART
Entire classes in the field of philosophy focus on coming up with a sound definition for the word “art.” Art is something which separates humans from most other species. Species of mammals such as elephants, however, have shown an interest in painting and using instruments once humans provided the opportunity. Non-human artistic endeavors make the concept of art even more mysterious. Art provides an entryway for discussion of myriad philosophical topics. In this lecture at The Clark Art Institute assistant professor for philosophy Emmanuel Alloa will explore the question: “Can images think?” He will argue that thinking is not limited to the realm of language. 413-458-2303. 225 South St, Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, April 13, 6:30pm
HISTORY/LITERACY
What would America look like today if the Confederates won the Battle of Gettysburg and seceded? That is what Glenn Swanson explores in his new book Independence. Learn about the ways in which one political event lead to another through Swanson’s imagined history. Participants will also learn about American historical events which did take place. Come with questions about the book or about history in general for this retired history teacher. The lecture will take place at the Gaylord Memorial Library. 413-538-5047. 47 College St, South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

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

  • 8am-10am – COMMUNITY BREAKFAST: Whether you are seeking a nutritious meal to start your day, hoping to make new connections in the community–or both!–everyone is welcome to attend a community breakfast each Wednesday, hosted by Craig’s Doors, in partnership with the Unitarian Universalist Society of Amherst. 413-437-0776. Willie Eaton Social Hall, Unitarian Meetinghouse, 121 North Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 9am-12pm – TRACKING CLUB The Berkshire Environmental Action Team invites you to join their monthly tracking club, running from 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 14, 2016

Thursday, April 14, 9am-8pm
COLLABORATIVE CONSUMPTION/LITERACY
One of the many great things about books is that they’re easy to share. Once you’re done reading a book you can lend it to friends, give it to someone to keep, or sell it. The Westfield Athenaeum will be continuing this cycle of learning with their annual book sale, to benefit the library. Buy new books and support educational programming and other services provided by the Westfield Athenaeum. 413-568-7833. 6 Elm St, Westfield, MA. (FUNDRAISER)

Thursday, April 14, 9am-11am
NATURE STUDIES/GUIDED WALK/LIFELONG LEARNERS
Senior citizens are invited to the Hitchcock Center for the Environment for a casual, guided walk around the trail of the National Fish and Wildlife Refuge system on site. Attendees will learn about plants and birds which thrive in Spring. Space is limited. Registration is required. 413-256-6006. 525 S Pleasant St, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, April 14, 12:15pm-1:15pm
ARCHITECTURE/ENGLAND
Traveling is one of the most fun and effective ways of learning about culture. Travel is good for your brain since you have to constantly navigate an unfamiliar landscape when you travel. Depending on the level of language barriers and other cultural factors, travel can push you out of your comfort zone to varying degrees. Enjoy a lunchtime lecture at the Springfield Museums in which the speaker will discuss her recent trip to England. With plenty of photographs and fun music, the speaker will walk you through the castles, villages, homes, ruins and more which she was able to experience first hand. Consider a trip to England, or simply enjoy learning vicariously through someone else’s experience. 413-314-6488. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. ($)

Thursday, April 14, 5:30pm-7pm
FINANCIAL LITERACY/PARENTING
Teaching your children about money can both prepare them for their future and help them understand the world around them in the present. At this workshop, “The Value of a Dollar,” presenters will provide tips on how to lead useful financial conversations with your children. This workshop is for parents of children in kindergarten through eighth grade and will take place at The Family Center. Dinner will be provided for adults and their children. 413-663-7588. 210 State Street, North Adams. MA (FREE)

Thursday, April 14, 5:30pm-7:30pm
CLIMATE CHANGE ACTIVISM/EDUCATION
What have local students in the Pioneer Valley done to positively impact climate change? This “Climate Action Celebration” will showcase graduating UMass Amherst students as they relay what they’ve learned and what they wish they had a chance to learn about climate change and sustainability over the course of their education. Attendees will be able to discuss the future of climate change activism and the political, educational, and personal changes they hope to see locally as well as globally. Floor 26 of the W.E.B. Du Bois Library at UMass Amherst. 154 Hicks Way. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, April 14, 5:30pm-8:30pm
NATURE STUDIES/GUIDED HIKE
A group of outdoor adventurers will be taking a moonlit hike around the New England Scenic Trail in Erving and Northfield. Listen for Spring birds and bugs at twilight and see a fantastic sunset view of farms and fields on this three mile hike. Dress warmly with waterproof shoes, and bring a supper. Directions to the meeting location will be shared with registered participants. Please call to register at 1-800-859-2960. Various locations in Erving and Northfield. (FREE)

Thursday, April 14, 7pm
CULTURAL STUDIES/NATIVE AMERICAN
How can you be an ally to Native peoples? One important step is to learn about the indigenous people of your area. Come to the Jones Library for a screening of Goin’ Native, No Reservations Needed, a humorous film which will help you gain insight into Native American perspectives. There also be a panel of local Native people assisting in the post-film discussion. 413-259-3223. 43 Amity St, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, April 14, 7pm
FILM STUDIES/DOCUMENTARY/MEMOIR
Whether you are already a fan of director Kirsten Johnson’s work, or you are currently unfamiliar with it, this film screening will teach you a great deal about the career of a director, and the art of documentary film. Johnson filmed Citizenfour, Fahrenheit 9/11, and The Invisible War among other films. Her newest work, Cameraperson, (not rated) is a memoir about her life and work. For this screening at Amherst Cinema Johnson will be present. 413-253-2547 x110. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. ($)

Thursday, April 14, 7pm
CIVIL ENGINEERING/SUSTAINABILITY
The phrase “net zero water” refers to water systems which reduce water waste and consumption through recycling and reusing. Under the guidance of civil engineer Chris Chamberland, the Hitchcock Center for the Environment will soon meet the goal of net zero water. At this talk you will learn how buildings can be designed to catch rainwater for drinking, and process wastewater on site. Space is limited. Please call to register. 413-256-6006. 525 S Pleasant St, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, April 14, 7pm-8pm
HOLISTIC HEALTH/MEDICINE
Opening your mind up to the reality of holistic health can allow for innovative medical solutions. Changing your diet to improve your mood is one example of a health change which stems from a holistic view of personal health. Dr. Kathryn Hayward of Massachusetts General Hospital will be running a discussion at the Philip H. Ryan Health Science Center on Integrative Health, a holistic health system which combines conventional
medicine, food, movement and mind/body/spirit disciplines. Please Note: Bay Path University employees and students are not eligible for this event. Email hpaquette@baypath.edu with any questions. Bay Path University. 588 Longmeadow St East Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, April 14, 7:30pm
THEATER/MUSICAL
Come to opening night of Breaking Up is Hard to Do! It’s Labor Day Weekend in 1960. Marge and her stagestruck best friend Lois arrive at Esther’s Paradise Resort in the Catskills on a vacation that was intended to be Marge’s honeymoon — but the groom has left her at the altar. Lois does her best to console Marge and comes up with a plan to set her up with Del Delmonaco, the resort’s handsome but self-obsessed singer who mistakenly assumes that Marge’s father can get him on American Bandstand and make him the next teen heartthrob. Then there’s Gabe, the geekish handyman and aspiring songwriter, always looking forlornly on — and of course Harvey, the Borscht Belt comic who for years has secretly carried a torch for the widowed Esther. Breaking Up is Hard to Do engages audiences with the tunes of Neil Sedaka while bringing to life a heartwarming throwback to a simpler time. Performances will be held at the Majestic Theater. 413-747-7797. 131 Elm Street, West Springfield, MA. ($$$)

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

  • 9:30am-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: Children ages 18 months through 3 years and their caregivers may participate in the Toddler Steps playgroup which meets on Thursdays, sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. 413-644-0104. 442 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-10:30am – STORYTIME: On Thursdays, young children and their caregivers can enjoy building early literacy skills at Richmond Reads, a weekly group sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. 413-644-0104. Richmond Library, 1831 State Road, Richmond, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Northampton Parents Center will be open Monday-Thursday from 9:30am-11:30am for playgroup, toys, books, activities, and more. Kids ages 5 and under and their caregivers can drop in to meet and play with others. 413-582-2636. 297 Main Street, Lower Level. Northampton, MA. (DONATION)
  • 9:30am-12pm — PLAYGROUP: Children ages 0-5 and their parents are invited to a playgroup at the Belchertown Family Center every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday morning. 413-835-5201. 720 Franklin Street, Belchertown, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11am – STORYTIME: Storytime every Thursday at the Dalton Free Public Library. There will be stories, snacks, and a craft. 413-684-6112. 462 Main Street. Dalton, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11:30am – SUPPORT GROUP: There will be a support group for parents with infants every Thursday Hilltown Family Center. 413-667-2203. 9 Russell Road. Huntington, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Playgroup every Thursday in Goshen Town Hall. There will be storytime, crafts, projects, and more. 42 Main Street. Goshen, MA.
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP Add some playtime, socializing, and song to your morning at Sing N Play each Thursday. Open to young children and their caregivers, and sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. 413-644-0104. Bushnell-Sage Library, 48 Main Street, Sheffield, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – MUSIC: The Jones Library will offer a preschool storytime every Thursday. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: No child is too young to benefit from having a story read to him or her! Listening to a read-aloud story allows children to encounter new sounds and vocabulary, teaches them how to use a book, and introduces ideas about how stories are created. Share the joy of reading with your child at the Lenox Library‘s storytime every Thursday morning. 413-637-0197. 18 Main Street, Lenox, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-11:15am – STORYTIME: Storytime for toddlers (ages 2-5) every Thursday at the Ramsdell Library. 413-274-3738. 1087 Main Street. Housatonic, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-11:30am – STORYTIME: Join the Emily Williston Memorial Library for storytime every Thursday! There will be snacks, stories, and crafts. 413-529-1605. 9 Park Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-11am — STORYTIME: The Lee Library offers a parent/child program for children ages 2 ½ -5 every Thursday. 413-243-0385. Children’s Room, 100 Main Street, Lee, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-11:30am — STEM: South Berkshire Kids celebrates Science! Technology! Engineering! and Math! through stories, demonstrations, songs, and tabletop activities at the Lee Library the first Thursday of each month. For ages 2-5. 413-464-5095. Children’s Room, 100 Main Street, Lee, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-12:30pm – PLAY GROUP: Children birth – 5 years old are welcome to attend a neighborhood playgroup at Sixteen Acres Library. Enjoy stories, fingerplays, a craft and playtime. Adult must accompany and consistently supervise children, siblings welcome. 413-263-6858. 1187 Parker Street, Springfield MA. (FREE)
  • 10:45am-11:45am – PARENTING SKILLS/SUPPORT: Would you like to meet other parents in the area and share your parenting triumphs and challenges? Would you enjoy learning sound parenting advice from a trusted source? Check out Sips & Tips, a parenting group that meets on Thursdays, sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. Childcare is provided. 413-644-0104. 442 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:45am-12pm – NUTRITION & CULINARY ARTS: Children ages 2.5-5 years and their caregivers are invited to Kids’ Kitchen, a fun cooking group that meets on Thursdays. Children who participate in meal preparation often show greater tolerance for a variety of foods and healthier eating habits than children who do not. The focus will be on learning basic food prep techniques and making healthy choices for everyday meals. Sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. 413-644-0104 x 1159. 442 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am-12pm – PARENTING SUPPORT: Mothers, fathers, grandparents, and all others providing care for a child age 0-9 months are invited to Welcome Baby, a support group that meets on Thursdays, sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. Learn how to address the needs of infants and yourself, and address feeding concerns and other topics. Childcare is provided. 413-644-0104 x 1159. 442 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 11:30am-12:30pm – GYM GROUP: Child Care of the Berkshires, Inc. is offering a Gym Group at the Haskins Center for ages walking to 5 years old. 413-664-4821. 210 State St., North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 3pm & 5pm – INTERGENERATIONAL SKILL SHARING: Dottie’s Coffee Lounge hosts two knitting groups most Thursdays. The 3pm group is open to all levels, and is led by Kay, who spins her own wool. The 5pm group, led by Caitlin, focuses on teaching and practicing the fundamentals of knitting, but all levels and projects are welcome. 413-443-1792. 444 North Street, Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 11:30am-1:30pm – JOB SKILLS: Do you need help finding a job? Do you need assistance in creating or revising a resume and/or with interview skills? The Amherst Survival Center provides support during weekly sessions. And you can also join for lunch between 12pm and 1pm! You can ride the #33 bus right to the door. The Amherst Survival Center, 138 Sunderland Rd., North Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 12:15pm – FINE ARTS: Visit the Springfield Museums‘ Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts for their popular Thursday Museums a la Carte lectures, featuring presentations on a variety of fine art-related topics! Visitors are welcome to bring a lunch; coffee and cookies will be provided. Intended for older students and adults. Borrow a free museum pass from the library. 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA. (< $)
  • 12:30pm-2:30pm – MOTHER SUPPORT GROUP: There will be a MotherWoman support group every third Thursday at Scantic Valley YMCA. Mothers of babies 12 months and under can come talk about motherhood at this monthly program. 413-583-3527. 45 Post Office Park. Wilbraham, MA. (FREE)
  • 1:00pm-3:00pm – PLAYGROUP: Too old for tummy time? Too young for toddler time? Drop into this fun social time for babies at Forbes Library! 413-587-1011. Community Room, Forbes Library, 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 2pm-4pm – KNITTING: Knitting provides an excellent base for intergenerational skill sharing every Thursday. Bring your current project or one you’ve been meaning to start! All levels of knitters are welcome at this Thursday knitting circle, hosted at Dottie’s Coffee Lounge. 413-443-1792. 444 North Street, Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 2:30pm-4:30pm – ARTS & CRAFTS: The Hatfield Public Library holds a weekly Crafting Club for ages 5 and up every Thursday! Come to the library and get creative at this fun program. 413-247-9097. 39 Main Street. Hatfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 3pm-5pm – STEAM: Kids can attend a STEAM program at the Greenfield Public Library on the third Thursday of each month. A guest presenter will cover either science, technology, engineering, art, or math using a book. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 3:30pm — LEGOS: Kids ages 9-15 can use their creativity and engineering skills during LEGO Club every Thursday at the West Springfield Public Library. 413-736-4561. 511 Main Street, West Springfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 3:30pm-4:45pm – MINECRAFT: Tweens and teens can attend Minecraft Club at the Indian Orchard Branch Library every Thursday. Come make new friends and trade Minecraft tips and tricks! 413-263-6846. 44 Oak Street. Indian Orchard, MA. (FREE)
  • 3:30pm-5pm – CHESS: Every second and fourth Thursday, kids are invited to the Mason Library for chess. There will be no instruction provided, so this event is best for kids who already have an understanding of the game. This is a great place to come play with peers, make new friends, and improve your chess skills in a relaxed and supportive environment. 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 4pm-5pm – STORYTIME: The Hubbard Library is offering a storytime for students ages 5-8. Every Thursday. 413-583-5646. 24 Center Street. Ludlow, MA. (FREE)
  • 4pm-5:30pm — SERVICE LEARNING/SOCIAL JUSTICE//TEENS: At PeaceJam, teens can join their peers to study the work of 13 Nobel Peace Laureates then develop service learning projects that address the issues they care about. The group meets every Thursday at The Bridge Family Resource Center. For ages 14 and up. 413-549-0297, ext. 6512. 101 University Drive Suite A3, Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 4pm-8pm – GAMES/LEGOS: Families can have fun every Thursday at Gaylord Memorial Library‘s game and LEGO night! Stop by for board games, puzzles, LEGOs, and more. 413-538-5047. 47 College Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)
  • 4:30-6pm – COMMUNITY MEAL/MOVIE: The Amherst Survival Center serves a free community meal every Thursday and screens a film for the community to enjoy together. Bring your family and come enjoy an evening with your community while learning about the work of the ASC! 413-549-3968. 138 Sunderland Road. North Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 4:30pm – AFTERSCHOOL & YO-YO: Not many toys can boast over 2,500 years of use worldwide, but the yo-yo has enjoyed consistent use in hundreds of cultures for nearly three millenia. The popular Northampton education-based store A to Z hosts Yo-Yo School three times a week inside their store, and their teachers are true masters. Open to all ages, although older elementary children often have the motor skills and coordination needed for it to be a bit easier to learn. Read more about Yo-Yo school on Hilltown Families. Call 413-586-1611. 57 King St., Northampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 5pm-6:30pm – LEGO: Kids ages 6 and up can have fun and get creative with LEGOs at the Mason Square Branch Library‘s LEGO Club every Thursday. Call to sign up. 413-263-6853. 765 State Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 5pm-8pm — MUSEUM ADVENTURES/ART: The Williams College Museum of Art
    is open late every Thursday. Bring the family for some after-work adventures! 413-597-2429. 15 Lawrence Hall Drive, Suite 2, Williamstown, MA. (FREE)
  • 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 15, 2016

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: Friday, April 15, all day
Sign up now to learn how to make gnocchi at the Italian Cultural Center of Western Massachusetts. Gnocchi are delicious potato and cheese dumplings that taste particularly great when they’re homemade! Learn about Italian culture or connect with your Italian heritage by learning how to make this traditional dish. Please register by April 15th by calling 860-305-1175. This class will take place at Saturday April 23 from 1pm-4pm. 56 Margaret Street. Springfield, MA. ($$)

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: Friday, April 15, all day
The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts event, A Recipe to End Hunger, is right around the corner on April 29th. This 1950s themed event will involve dancing and an auction in addition to meals provided by top local chefs from restaurants such as Blue Heron, The Log Cabin, and Luxe Burger. You must register by April 15th by calling 413-247-9738. The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. 1000 Hall of Fame Ave, Springfield, MA. (FUNRAISER)

Friday, April 15, 10am
LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT/PLAY
Parent educator Scott Noyes invites you to bring your children to theHilltown Community Health Center for a play-to-learn session focused on early language development. For more information please contact Kim Savery at 413-667-2203. 9 Russell Road, Route 20. Huntington, MA. (FREE)

Friday, April 15, 8am-8:30pm
ADAPTIVE SPORTS/INCLUSION
Every four years the winter and summer paralympic games showcase incredible athletes with a range of physical disabilities. For the past fourteen years, the Amelia Park Arena has hosted their Annual New England Sled Hockey Invitational Tournament, showcasing paralympians and other physically challenged athletes and coaches. Witness feats of physical strength, speed, perseverance and skill this April 15-17. See the Amelia Park website for a full schedule of events. 413-568-2503. 21 S Broad St, Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, April 15, 8am-10am
ORNITHOLOGY/GUIDED WALK
You can bird watch year-round, but Spring and Fall are the best times to learn about migrating birds. Jonathan Pierce, Pleasant Valley Caretaker and Hoffman Bird Club Leader, will help participants identify newly arrived wood-warblers. These birds are small, but many of them are bright and colorful, making them easier to spot. Learn about local ecology while enjoying a walk around the Canoe Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary. Please bring binoculars. Beginners are welcome, no registration needed. 413-637-0320. Homes Road, Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, April 15, 9am-5pm
COLLABORATIVE CONSUMPTION/LITERACY
One of the many great things about books is that they’re easy to share. Once you’re done reading a book you can lend it to friends, give it to someone to keep, or sell it. The Westfield Athenaeum will be continuing this cycle of learning with their annual book sale to benefit the library. Buy new books and support educational programming and other services provided by the Westfield Athenaeum. 413-568-7833. 6 Elm St, Westfield, MA. (Various >$-$$)

Friday April 15, 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 15, 11am-12pm
STEM/ENGINEERING/STORYTIME
This month, the Cushman Library’s STEM Storytime event will focus on engineering. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. The Cushman library is helping families foster STEM interests in their children ages zero to five years on the third Friday of each month from February to June. This event will feature an engineering themed story and play time with Lego Duplos and wooden blocks. This event combines literacy enrichment, scientific learning, and creative, social play. 28 Church St, Bernardston, MA. (FREE)

Friday, April 15, 2pm-3:30pm
GUERILLA ART
Lots of people are attracted to street art, such as graffiti and yarnbombing, because it is anonymous and it puts art in a public space for everyone to see. Graffiti, however, is against the law and can do damage to public or private property because it is difficult to remove. If you want to put some art out into the world to brighten a stranger’s day, you can try something less invasive, like rock art! Kids are invited to the Dickinson Memorial Library to create a work of art on a rock and put it out into the world to inspire others. All materials provided. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, April 15, 3:30pm-4:30pm
WRITING
Do you know a child between the ages of seven and ten who enjoys writing? Invite him or her to the Forbes Library to join other writers in an hour-long meeting filled with brainstorming activities. Whatever your genre, this is a safe space to get creative, work together, and share if you want to. Improving your writing, like any other skill, just takes practice. This is a great opportunity for kids to get started early honing a skill they love. Writing is also helpful for sorting out emotions and experiences. 413-587-1011. 20 West St, Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Friday, April 15, 6:30pm
FIBER ARTS
Rug hooking is a fiber craft which involves the use of multiple fabrics. A relatively flexible fabric such as yarn is woven through a stiffer fabric, such as burlap or linen. If you enjoy knitting, crocheting, or felting and want to expand your fiber art repetoire, come to the Dickinson Memorial Library and learn the skill of rug hooking. Even if you have no experience with any kind of weaving, come by and learn! 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, April 15, 8pm-10pm
DANCE STUDIES/IMPROVISATION
How do you convey an idea or emotion through dance? Imaginative, award-winning dancers and choreographers Chris Aiken and Angie Hauser will be exploring the theme “Memory of the Future,” in their new performance at Smith College. Aiken and Hauser both teach as well as perform, and their teaching practice emphasizes the skill of improvisation through dance. Both dancers are skilled in collaborative improvisation techniques such as contact improvisation. Witness their performance along with other internationally recognized dancers and musicians. Northampton, MA. (<$)

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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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