Suggested Events for April 23rd-29th 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

OVER 60 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 22

Celebrate Earth Day with Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem to benefit Kestrel Land Trust! Friday, April 22 at 8pm, at the Unitarian Society of Northampton. The New England based folk quartet’s music and style will leave you humming and hopeful, spirits renewed. For 15 years, they’ve performed across the country from the Newport Folk Festival to the California World Music Festival. All proceeds will benefit Kestrel’s work to conserve and care for the land you love throughout the Pioneer Valley. Tickets $25, available online http://bit.ly/23Hktul or at Broadside Bookstore in Northampton or A.J. Hastings in Amherst. Tickets will be sold at the door if available. Visit kestreltrust.org for more details!

Open House: Apr 30

Considering preschool or kindergarten options? Explore Montessori! Amherst Montessori School will host a Preschool & Kindergarten Open House on Saturday, April 30 at 10am. Tour their beautiful new building and playground, meet teachers and administrators, and learn about the benefits of the mixed-age, child-centered Montessori learning environment. Register online at amherstmontessori.org.

May 1

Sunday May 1, 2016 from 11am-4pm: The Massachusetts Renaissance Center invites you to a day of music, theater, juggling, falconry, dancing and more at the 14th Annual Community Renaissance Festival! Fun for all ages! FREE admission and FREE parking!Phoenix Swords returns with their popular swordsmanship demonstrations that are fun for the whole family! Robie Bones is back to lead music making! Play Renaissance games with Mutton and Mead! See demonstrations by local artisans and try your hand at one of these Renaissance crafts! Interactive theater and commedia dell’arte will add to the merriment! For a complete schedule and parking info visit www.umass.edu/renaissance and click the festival link, or call 413-577-3603.

Apr 29

Calling all young writers to submit to the Odyssey Bookshop’s Annual Children’s Writing Contest! The deadline for submissions is Friday, April 29 at 7pm. You can find the 2016 prompt and entry forms on their webpage: www.odysseybks.com/spring-writing-contest. They award gift certificates to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners for each grade level (1st-5th), whom they will contact by Friday, May 6, and they’ll celebrate these winners at their Awards Ceremony on Thursday, May 19 at 6pm. They’ll have sparkling juice, book cookies, and plenty of accolades for our winners, who will share their stories with the audience. Join them for this wonderful celebration of literary talent from the writers of tomorrow, and don’t forget: submit, submit, submit!

Apr 30

Join the Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley on Sat, April 30 for Indie Bookstore Day, a FREE, family-friendly, day-long event! They will be celebrating with great kids events: 11am Mo Willems-themed story time & 2pm Horrible Bear-themed story time. They’ll have coloring stations, a “Shelfie” corner to pose with your favorite book, a bookstore love graffiti wall, homemade assorted pastries and lemonade, and exclusive merchandise, including signed copies of Kate DiCamillo’s latest book, Raymie Nightingale, signed prints featuring Tad Hill’s duck & goose characters, a Curious George® plush doll with a READ TO ME t-shirt, a kid-friendly vinyl record companion to the New York Times-bestselling Rad American Women A-Z that features Angela Davis, and more!

Apr 30 May 7

The Odyssey Bookshop and local author/illustrator Anna Alter are looking for the next area artists to submit original artwork for their Sprout Street Neighbors Community Art Contest. They invite all youth to make a piece of art that shows what they think is important about their community to Odyssey Bookshop, attn: Niki Marion by Saturday, April 30. The next Saturday, May 7, at 2pm, they welcome all artists & their families, as well as other members of the community, to join them for a show of all submitted artwork at the Odyssey. Anna will be on hand to read from her books and draw with the kids, and participants may enter a raffle to win a free school visit for their classroom. Prizes for 2nd & 3rd too. Must be present to win any prizes.

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

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LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
April 23-29, 2016

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Donate Now Events Happening in the Hilltowns

Saturday, April 23, 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. This special Earth Day show by Charity Kahn from Charity and the JAMband highlights songs and concepts that explore compassion, kindness, and our interconnectedness with Earth and all beings. The episode underscores the reminder that our love and intention are powerful forces that can inspire all of us to act in ways that protect and take care of the Earth. In addition to music along these lines, the show also includes a story (theme: interbeing) and a guided meditation (theme: non-harming). Because every day should be Earth Day! 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 23, 9am-11:20am
DENDROLOGY/CITIZEN SCIENTIST
Naturalists typically identify tree species by leaves, if there are any, or bark. Signs with tree species’ names can help people learn about the trees in their local environment. You can assist in the gathering of data on 200 trees in Forest Park as part of the Regreen Springfield effort. This event will involve photographing and measuring, and will be split up in an easily manageable way. Take a closer look at the trees in your neighborhood. Please register at the Regreen Springfield website. Meet at Forest Park in the Rose Garden gazebo. 200 Trafton Road, Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 23, 9am-1pm
BOTANY/SERVICE-BASED LEARNING
Gardening The Community is a farming organization in Springfield working to support food security. They offer inexpensive farm shares and offer youth leadership opportunities. You are invited to come learn more about GTC as they celebrate their groundbreaking! GTC has achieved the goal of land ownership and in doing so will now be able to build a greenhouse for food growing year-round, establish a permanent, youth-run farm stand, and increase their storage space. RSVP for the Groundbreaking and Volunteer Impact Day at the GTC website. Attendees will view a short presentation and will have the chance to pitch in with beginning projects. Bring a shovel if you have one. 200 Walnut St, Springfield, MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Saturday, April 23, 9am-2pm
SERVICE-BASED LEARNING/RIVER ECOLOGY
Thanks to the work of the Housatonic Valley Association, a new river access point allows community members to go on paddle trips on the Housatonic River, but there is still more work to be done. Celebrate Earth Day and explore the Housatonic River by helping clean up the trails. Volunteering is always more fun with a group. Try to get your friends involved. If you have a large group of people coming, call 413-528-3391 so the organizers can arrange the work accordingly. Wear safe, protective clothing, shoes with good traction, and bring gloves. Meet at the DuBois River Garden Park at Church and River Streets, Great Barrington, MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Saturday, April 23, 9am-1pm
SERVICE-BASED LEARNING/NATURE STUDIES
Explore Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary up close as you help prepare the grounds for summer and fall. You can gain new appreciation for this natural resource as you learn about the work that goes into protecting and preserving it. This intergenerational event is suitable for children 2 – 12 years. Tools and gloves will be provided and there will be a pizza lunch. Call 413-637-0320 to register. 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Saturday, April 23, 9am-4pm
BOTANY/WILDFLOWERS
The “Spring Ephemerals” are here! The Wildflower Festival at Bartholomew’s Cobble is underway and will be open until May 6th. Spring ephemerals are wildflowers, native in the Berkshires, which appear early in Spring and are only around for a small window of time. These plants include native white and red trilliums, spring beauty, bloodroot, toothwort, wild ginger, blue cohosh and violets. See them while you still can! For more information about the Spring Wildflower Festival and a full list of activities, visit The Trustees website.. Reservations are strongly recommended. 413-298-3239 x3013 . 117 Cooper Hill Rd, Sheffield, MA . (Trustees members <$. Non members $. Children FREE)

Saturday, April 23, 9am-4pm
LIVING HISTORY/ANIMAL STUDIES
Spring is the perfect time to learn about anatomy by meeting baby animals! At Old Sturbridge Village family farm fest, you can learn about history through farm presentations. There will also be demonstrations of pottery, shoemaking, blacksmithing and mill work. Hear Bluegrass music, meet Laura Ingalls Wilder, and listen to readings of Irish poetry and prose. This event is perfect for parents and kids, whether you enjoy hands-on learning or observing and listening. Trails will be open for nature walks throughout the day. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. ($$ Adults. Youth 3-17 <$. Under 3 FREE)

Saturday, April 23, 10am
PLACEMAKING/PARADE
The Shea Theater Arts Center brings wonderful performances of plays, music, storytelling, comedy and more to the community of Turners Falls and beyond. You can help support them by participating in the Franklin County Spring Parade and 5K Run. Registration begins at 10am and the race begins at 11:30am. Whether you’re participating in the run or cheering the runners on, this is a great way to celebrate Spring and future events to take place at Shea Theater. Email FCSpring5K@gmail.com with questions. Meet at Turners Falls High School. 222 Turnpike Road Turners Falls, MA. ($$)

Saturday, April 23, 10am
CHILDREN’S LITERACY
The Buckland Public Library has added dozens of new and award-winning children’s books to their collection and would like to share them with you! In addition to browsing the stacks with your kids, you can gather together for a story. Liz will read a picture book at 10am, a short chapter book at 11am, and a kids’ novel at noon. 413-625-9412. 30 Upper Street, Buckland, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 23, 10am-1pm
COLLABORATIVE CONSUMPTION/BIKES
Did you know that before inventing the first successful airplane, Orville and Wilbur Wright owned a bicycle shop? Tinkering with bicycles laid the engineering foundation for them to later make history in the field of aviation. Bicycles are a powerful tool for freedom of movement. They are powered by human energy, fun to ride, and a sustainable way of getting around. With the warmer weather, now is the perfect time to buy a bike. Come to the West Springfield Earth Day Fair on the town green and check out the recycled bikes. There will also be plenty of other sustainable living products for sale, as well as a book swap, tree planting and soil testing. Read more in our post, The Bicycle: Social Impacts, Past & Present. 413-244-1389. Town Common.30 Park Street, West Springfield, MA. (MARKET/SALE)

Saturday, April 23, 10am-2pm
COLLABORATIVE CONSUMPTION/BOOKS
Library lovers highly appreciate the ability to gain free access to books and other materials. Still, many frequent library-goers also buy books. If you fit into this patron category, support the Worthington Public Library by purchasing your next round of books at their Spring book sale. The most popular books get purchased first. If you would like to get a first look with other early birds at 9am, you are welcome to pay a $10 fee for early entry. Have fun hunting for the best gently used paperbacks, hardcover books, children’s books, CDs and DVDs. Freshly baked goods will be available for sale. Call 413-238-5306 for more information. 1 Huntington Rd, Worthington, MA. (FUNDRAISER)

Saturday, April 23, 10am-2pm
LITERACY
Reading books is not just correlated with academic success in linguistic subjects. According to the National Education Association, “children who were read to frequently are also more likely to count to 20, or higher, than those who were not (60% vs. 44%).” Libraries offer parents the opportunity to access books free of charge, but still, children develop an attachment to books and it’s great to be able to own them. Come to the Lee Library to get free children’s books which the library is replacing with new titles. 413-243-0385. 100 Main Street, Lee, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 23, 10am-2pm
SERVICE-BASED LEARNING/NATURE HIKE
Learn about invasive species at The Boulders as you engage in nature preservation with your community. Participants are needed to pick up trash and pull invasive garlic mustard. Pizza will be provided at noon followed by a group hike. Please bring water, gloves, and be prepared to get dirty. 413-499-0596. Meet at Craneville Elementary School, 71 Park Avenue, Dalton MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Saturday, April 23, 10am-3pm
PLACEMAKING/BOTANY/SKILLSHARING
Did you know that there is going to be a community garden in Great Barrington? You can celebrate Earth Day this year by helping build it! From 10am-12pm participants will work the garden, then from 12pm-3pm there will be entertainment and gardening advice. With expert help available, this is the perfect way to start gardening and connect with local gardeners. This is part of a broader revitalization project for the fairgrounds. For more information visit the Great Barrington Fair Ground website. 659 South Main Street, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 23 10am-11am
NATURE-BASED/SENSORY EXPLORATIONS
Introduce your child to nature at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary with an hour long guided hike designed specifically for caregivers and their young children (ages five and under). You will learn skills and tricks to guide your own nature walks with your children. Feel free to stay after the event for a picnic or to continue exploring. 413-584-3009. 127 Combs Rd. Easthampton, MA. (<$)

Saturday, April 23, 11am and 2pm
THEATER STUDIES/FAIRY TALES
What better way to witness the classic fairy tale Pinocchio, the story of a puppet who wants to be a real boy, then in a performance by youth actors? This is your last chance to see Berkshire Children’s Theater’s rendition of Pinocchio at the Berkshire Museum.Your children may be inspired to try acting themselves, or at least warned of the consequences of telling lies! 413-443-7171. 39 South Street, Pittsfield, MA. (adult $ children under eighteen <$ children under three and museum members FREE)

Saturday, April 23, 10am-5pm
CIRCUS/SKILLSHARING
Circus performances combine acrobatics, tumbling, juggling, balancing, and theatrics. These feats require immense concentration, dexterity, strength, and in some cases, the overcoming of fears. Circus Folk Unite, a collective of circus performers, are bringing people from all over the world together for a festival at Hampshire College. Whether you’re a circus performer yourself or a complete novice, you’re invited to watch and participate as there will be workshops, games, and a show. 893 West Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 23, 11am-1:30pm
SERVICE-BASED LEARNING/RIVER ECOLOGY
Celebrate Earth Day by protecting local lands you care about. Earth Day RiverFest in Pittsfield will start with a community cleanup, providing opportunities to learn about river dwelling life forms. All ages activities will teach participants about the water cycle and vernal pools. Want to live a more sustainable lifestyle? Learn how to compost. You are also invited to bring clean clothing items for donation. 413-230-7321. Fred Garner Park on Pomeroy Avenue, Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 23, 12:30pm-2pm
DENDROLOGY/HORTICULTURE
You may have heard the Chinese proverb, “The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now.” This is a wonderful metaphor for life but also a good reminder of the importance of trees! Practically speaking, if you want to plant a tree, you have to know how to care for it so that it will grow successfully. Come to the Meekins Library to hear tree planting techniques from an expert. This workshop will cover site evaluation, plant selection, watering, mulching, pruning, and natural pest control. 413-268-7472. 2 Williams Street. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 23, 1pm-4pm
SKILLSHARING/COLLABORATIVE CONSUMPTION
If you have internet access, you can find tutorials of practically anything on Youtube. But it’s not the same as having a teacher help you in person. What if you hit a snag? You can’t ask a video to explain something differently if you don’t understand. And most importantly, you miss out on the connection which forms through exchange of knowledge. At the Lenox Fix It Fair,, community members will bring their broken (but fixable) household items, and others will bring their knowledge and tools. Or, bring both! Maybe you know how to sew, but you don’t know how to fix appliances, or vice versa. Bring tools you or someone else may need, and get to fixing! This is a great way to make connections with your neighbors and finally wrap up some household projects. If you can, let the organizers know what type of item you’re bringing. Call Ellen Jacobson at 413-441-0686. Lenox Community center. 413-637-5530. 65 Walker Street. Lenox, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 23, 1pm-4pm
ART/CREATIVE FREE PLAY
The Norman Rockwell Museum is fostering creativity with their Drop In On Art program, featuring a creative workshop each day. In these sessions, children are invited to invent their own storylines, and to design characters, plots, and settings inspired by art they view throughout the gallery. Caregivers are welcome to join, working collaboratively or side by side with their children. 413-931-2221. 9 Route 183, Stockbridge, MA. (FREE with museum admission and for members)

Saturday, April 23, 1pm-5pm
SERVICE-BASED LEARNING/COMMUNITY-BASED RESOURCE
Red Gate Farm offers educational programs for youth of all ages including field trips for school groups, weekly programming for homeschooled students, a film club and more. They are currently working on building tents to house some of their programs, and they need help! Work a partial or full shift between 1pm and 5pm. Dinner will be provided, with vegetarian options. Wear comfortable clothes for working outside. Please RSVP by calling 413-625-9503. 4 Norman Road, Ashfield, MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Saturday, April 23, 2pm
ORNITHOLOGY/RAPTOR REHABILITATION
Tom Ricardi, wildlife rehabilitator, cares for hawks, owls, falcons, and other birds of prey, and he is bringing them to Springfield Armory National Historic Site for you to meet! Learn about these birds through Tom’s interesting stories and extensive knowledge. Children who understand and value nature and its inhabitants tend to carry that perspective into adulthood. Bring your children along to learn about Tom’s efforts to rehabilitate these birds and protect local wildlife. 413-734-8551. One Armory Square. Suite 2. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 23, 2pm
LITERACY/DIVERSITY
Children’s book author and illustrator Grace Lin has said: “Books erase bias, they make the uncommon everyday, and the mundane exotic. A book makes all cultures universal.” Lin grew up in upstate New York and hers was the only Asian American family in her neighborhood. As a Taiwanese author drawing upon her personal experiences, Lin has enriched the world of children’s literature with greater diversity. Asian American children reading her books have the pleasure of feeling represented, and children of other cultures and backgrounds get to learn about experiences beyond their own. Lin will be giving a talk, discussing these issues as they relate to her picture books, early readers and middle grade novels, at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. 413-559-6315. 125 West Bay Road, Amherst, MA. (FREE with museum admission <$)

Saturday, April 23, 2pm
ARCHAEOLOGY/HISTORY
Do you know what an archaeological artist is? Did you know a Northampton native worked as an archaeological artist at the turn of the century on some of the most exciting discoveries of Ancient Greece? Join Frances Freeman Paden of Northwestern University for an illustrated talk on Adelene Moffat’s experience as an archaeological artist in Crete in 1903. Before heading to Crete, Adelene was a painter, philanthropic manager, civil rights activist and world traveler. She spearheaded Home Culture Clubs, a social settlement project founded in Northampton. But in 1903, recruited by her friend Harriet Boyd (a Smith graduate), Moffat took leave from the organization to work as an archaeological artist in Crete. For more information, take a look at the Historic Northampton website. 413-584-6011. 46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 23, 2:30pm
CURRENT AFFAIRS/CULTURE STUDIES
The terrorist group ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) has instilled a great deal of fear in people across the globe, and has raised questions about the actual tenets and values of Islamic religion. Speakers Sammy Aziz and Vjosa Aziz, from the Bloomfield Muslim Community Center, and John Parent, a student at Hartford Seminary, will be educating community members with discussions of verses from the Quran. This discussion group will take place at the Forbes Library. Call 413-259-3223 with any questions. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 23, 7pm-10pm
THEATER STUDIES/SHAKESPEARE
Around the globe, theater troupes and literary enthusiasts are honoring Shakespeare in various ways, on the 400th anniversary of his death. After so many centuries, it is still easy to see the far reaching impact Shakespeare has had on the world of literature and language. Macbeth, for example, is a highly quoted play, lines of which appear as references and titles to many other works. (Phrases such as “all our yesterdays,” and “sound and fury,” from Macbeth’s soliloquy). Shakespeare & Company will be performing Macbeth at the Tina Packer Playhouse, with a post-show reception to follow. Call 413-637-3353 to purchase tickets. 70 Kemble St, Lenox, MA . ($. Students <$)

Saturday, April 23, 8pm
HISTORY/MULTIMEDIA THEATER
Jack Kerouac popularized the term “beat generation,” referring to the underground movement of writers, musicians, and artists he was a part of in the late 1940s and 1950s. This term has multiple possible meanings, as it could refer a sense of being beat down and tired, but also has a musical connotation- the beat. You can learn about the beat generation and the impact which that movement still has today, at a multimedia performance of dance and theater put on by Mass MoCA. 413-662-2111. 1040 MASS MoCA WAY. North Adams, MA. ($)

Saturday, April 23, 8pm
THEATER/ROCK MUSICAL
Spring Awakening is an extraordinary new rock musical with book and lyrics by Steven Sater and music by Grammy Award-nominated recording artist Duncan Sheik. Inspired by Frank Wedekind’s controversial 1891 play about teenage sexuality and society’s efforts to control it, the piece seamlessly merges past and present, underscoring the timelessness of adolescent angst and the universality of human passion. Presented by the Arena Civic Theater and performances will be held at the Ruth B. Smith Auditorium at the Orange Town Hall. 413-233-4368. 6 Prospect Street, Orange, MA. ($$)

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Sunday, April 24, 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 24, 9am-4pm
LIVING HISTORY/ANIMAL STUDIES
Spring is the perfect time to learn about anatomy by meeting baby animals! At Old Sturbridge Village family farm fest, you can learn about history through farm presentations. There will also be demonstrations of pottery, shoemaking, blacksmithing and mill work. Hear Bluegrass music, meet Laura Ingalls Wilder, and listen to readings of Irish poetry and prose. This event is perfect for parents and kids, whether you enjoy hands-on learning or observing and listening. Trails will be open for nature walks throughout the day. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. ($$ Adults. Youth 3-17 <$. Under 3 FREE)

Sunday, April 24, 10am
POMOLOGY/FOOD HISTORY
Through the miracle of modern food systems, you can go into a grocery store and buy food from all over the world. Russell Powell is a pomologist, which is a branch of botany that deals with the study and cultivation of fruit. He can tell you about the apples which are native to New England, and weave his botanical knowledge in with his knowledge of history as he tells you about the Dickinson family and their tradition of growing their own produce. This lecture, “From off my Father’s tree! Apples of New England and the Dickinson Family Orchard,” will take place at the Emily Dickinson Museum. 413-542-8161. 280 Main Street, Amherst, MA. ($ Museum members and students k-12 <$)

Sunday, April 24, 10am-5pm
CIRCUS/SKILLSHARING
Circus performances combine acrobatics, tumbling, juggling, balancing, and theatrics. These feats require immense concentration, dexterity, strength, and in some cases, the overcoming of fears. Circus Folk Unite, a collective of circus performers, are bringing people from all over the world together for a festival at Hampshire College. Whether you’re a circus performer yourself or a complete novice, you’re invited to watch and participate as there will be workshops, games, and a show. 893 West Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, April 24, 1pm
LOCAL HISTORY/IRISH HISTORY
Irish heritage is often associated with Boston, but Western Massachusetts also boasts strong ties to Ireland. The Springfield Museums are honoring the 100th anniversary of the Easter Uprising in a number of ways. On Sunday, April 24th you can hear a presentation on this topic by Congressman Richard E. Neal at the Lyman and Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History. Before or after the talk you can expand your knowledge of this historical event, with a local focus, by checking out the exhibit on view: “Easter Rising: Springfield’s Response to the Irish Rebellion of 1916.” This exhibit will allow you to explore the history of the event through newspaper headlines and memorabilia from Springfield residents. This exhibition will be on view until Sunday, May 22. 413-263-6800 ext. 459. 21 Edwards St. Springfield, MA. (Adults $. Ages 3-17 <$. Children 2 and under FREE)

Sunday, April 24, 1pm-3pm
CIVIC ENGAGEMENT/ECOLOGY
Thanks to the work of the Housatonic Valley Association, a new river access point allows community members to go on paddle trips on the Housatonic River. At the Source to Sound River Festival, the HVA will be educating citizens on the ways in which they can enjoy and learn from the river, through wildlife exhibits and family-friendly river activities. You can learn to fly fish, inspect river dwelling insects, and learn about water quality during this celebration at the Lee Athletic Field. 413-394-9796. Lee, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, April 24, 2pm
ZOOLOGY/COUGARS
Did you know that mountain lions are reoccupying the Northeast? Come to the Berkshire Museum to find out why, and to learn all about cougars. This presentation by naturalist Bill Betty will cover topics such as reproduction, sport hunting, the keeping of lions as pets, predation and habituation. These big cats are native to the Americas and frequently appear in Native American folklore. This event is free with regular museum admission. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street, Pittsfield, MA. (adult $ children under eighteen <$ children under three and museum members FREE)

Sunday, April 24, 2pm
HISTORY/WAR
The final lecture in Historic Deerfield’s winter lecture series will educate attendees on eighteenth century war tactics. Michael Coe, Professor Emeritus at Yale University will deliver his talk, “The Line of Forts: An Eighteenth Century DEW Line.” For those who don’t know, DEW in this case stands for Distant Early Warning. This radar system was built in 1957 to detect Soviet bombers during the Cold War. Michael Coe will educate listeners on how fort lines functioned as early versions of this technology. Due to substantial interest in this lecture series, the location of the event has been moved to the campus of Deerfield Academy, Garonzik Auditorium in the Koch Science Center. For more information, call (413) 775-7132 or e-mail lmiskinis@historic-deerfield.org. 7 Boyden Lane, Deerfield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, April 24, 2pm
CULTURAL STUDIES/DANCE/MUSIC
Ottawa Valley Stepdancing is a type of Canadian dance with origins in France, Ireland, and Scotland. In this type of stepdancing, steps reach high off the floor and are paired with flowing arm movements. You can witness Ottawa Valley Stepdancing paired with music on piano, fiddle, guitar, and vocals at the Palmer Historical and Cultural Center. Erin and Colleen Searson’s performance will be accompanied by Danno O’Shea on percussion and bass. 413- 289-9295. 2072 Main Street, Three Rivers, MA. ($. PHCC members <$)

Sunday, April 24, 2pm
LIVING HISTORY/WOMEN’S HISTORY
Monumental events in history, like the women’s suffrage movement and abolition of slavery, are particularly inspiring when studied through a particular person in history. Important historical figures local to your area or state can help build strong connections to where you live. Lucy Stone, Civil War abolitionist and suffragette, is a fascinating and important figure native to Massachusetts. Learn about her life and the history of that time period through a storytelling performance at the Springfield Armory National Historic Site. 413-734-8551. One Armory Square. Suite 2. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, April 24, 2:30-3:30pm
ENTOMOLOGY/MUSEUM ADVENTURES
Studying Monarch butterflies allows children (and adults) to learn about many biological concepts in hands-on and visual ways. It’s hard not to be fascinated by the life cycle of these creatures which start off as eggs, grow into caterpillars, spin a silk enclosing, shed their skin and emerge as seemingly new creatures. This is, in fact, a beautiful and poetic transformation. In addition, Monarch butterflies also migrate, providing an opportunity to teach kids about habitat and migration. At the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art your child can learn about butterflies through hands-on activities and crafts, making sculptures, butterfly gardens, and observation journals to take home and continue learning after the visit. (Ages 6 and up with an adult; up to 2 children per adult). 413-559-6315. 125 West Bay Road, Amherst, MA. ($$ plus museum admission <$)

Sunday, April 24, 8pm
THEATER/ROCK MUSICAL
Spring Awakening is an extraordinary new rock musical with book and lyrics by Steven Sater and music by Grammy Award-nominated recording artist Duncan Sheik. Inspired by Frank Wedekind’s controversial 1891 play about teenage sexuality and society’s efforts to control it, the piece seamlessly merges past and present, underscoring the timelessness of adolescent angst and the universality of human passion. Presented by the Arena Civic Theater and performances will be held at the Ruth B. Smith Auditorium at the Orange Town Hall. 413-233-4368. 6 Prospect Street, Orange, MA. ($$)

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Monday, April 25, 2016

Monday, April 25, 10am-11am
PARENTING/NEUROSCIENCE
One of the struggles of special needs children is that they can be misunderstood by uninformed peers. Parents of special needs children may have a similar feeling, that people around them don’t quite know what they’re going through. The Family Center in North Adams is providing a chance for parents of children with special needs or delays to share their experiences with an understanding audience. Meet local parents with children ages birth to eight years in a casual environment. Snacks will be provided. Transportation and child care are available. Call 413-664-4821 to register. 210 State Street, North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Monday, April 25, 12pm-2:30pm
FILM SCREENING/EDUCATION/PARENTING
The documentary series The Raising of America is meant to increase awareness of the struggles of modern parenting in this country, and to inspire changes in our education system, employment benefits, and culture. The film discusses political issues such as paid parental leave, sick leave, and affordable housing. Screening the film with other parents, educators, and people who care about children, is particularly productive. This screening at Mercy Medical Center will involve a lunch, panel discussion, and group conversation. Attendees will be able to look at the problem in a localized way and suggest potential solutions. 271 Carew Street, Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Monday, April 25, 6pm
STATISTICS/BASEBALL
Baseball players and fans often memorize historical facts about players including statistics on their performance. This can come in handy at trivia nights, and it can also be a starting point for advanced statistical analysis. “Sabermetrics” is a term referring specifically to the empirical analysis of baseball. Come to this Sci Tech Cafe event at Union Station to hear more about it from a Ben Baumer, professor of statistics and data sciences at Smith College. 413-341-3161. 125 Pleasant Street, Northampton, MA. (DONATION)

Monday, April 25, 6:30pm
INTERGENERATIONAL/MUSIC STUDIES/UKULELE
The ukulele is one of the simplest instruments to play, with only three chords needed to play most songs. Join Julie Stepanek for a Ukulele Strum at the M.N. Spear Memorial Library. Bring your uke, or other instrument, or just come to sing along. 413-259-1213. 10 Cooleyville Road, Shutesbury, MA. (FREE)

Monday, April 25, 6:30pm
LITERACY/CULTURE STUDIES
Discussing books with friends can enrich your experience of the text and even challenge your opinions on what you’ve read. Unfortunately, this can become a less frequent activity as we grow older and, in most cases, leave formal classes behind. Come to the Emily Williston Library for a discussion of I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban. There is much to discuss in this autobiography from the inspiring girl who risked her life for education at the age of fifteen. Share your insights on education, culture studies, politics, feminism and the ways Malala’s story influenced your perception of these issues. 413-527-1031. 9 Park Street, Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

Monday, April 25, 7pm
LIVE MUSIC: JAZZ
Alta and Matt DeChamplain are jazz musicians, drawing inspiration from Nat Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Chick Corea and many more jazz greats when they write and play music. The couple will be performing at the Gaylord Memorial Library as part of the library’s music Monday series. Hear a range of jazz styles and see if you can detect how their musical tastes have influenced their compositional styles. 413-538-5047. 47 College Street, South Hadley, MA. ($. Students <$)

Monday, April 25, 7pm
PARENTING/WRITING
In addition to taking immense effort and time, and changing the structure of your life, parenting affects your identity. We are, in many ways, what we do. Parents ought to take great pride in the daily work of parenting and allow it to be an important part of their personal identity. It can be difficult for parents to maintain hobbies and interests which used to be a bigger part of their self definition. On the other hand, the intense emotional experience of parenting can be inspiration for many types of art and other hobbies. Amy Dryansky is a poet as well as a parent of two (and a previous Hilltown Families contributing writer). She will be discussing her strategies for overcoming writer’s block and finding time to write. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street, Northampton, MA. (FREE)

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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 26, 2016

Tuesday, April 26, 1pm-2:30pm
CAREER READINESS
No matter where you are in your career path you are invited to a resume writing workshop which will provide help formatting and wording your resume. Sometimes new trends emerge in resume writing, so it can be helpful to gain advice from knowledgeable people. Even if you are an expert, a fresh set of eyes can lend insight, pointing out strengths, weaknesses, and typos! Meet in the Committee Room of the Westfield Athenaeum. Participants will need either an email address or a USB flash drive to save their work. Please call 413-562-0716 to register. 6 Elm Street, Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, April 26, 1:30-6:30pm
LOCAL FOOD/COLLABORATIVE CONSUMPTION
Farmers’ Markets, both winter and summer, are a terrific opportunity to partake in collaborative consumption. Farmers share their knowledge and families learn how to grow a better garden or how to better preserve their foods. The power of collaborative consumption not only supports sustainable living, it is a great source for community-based education too. You can meet farmers and artisans while shopping for local goods at the Farmer’s Market behind Thornes Marketplace. 413-584-5582. 150 Main Street, Northampton, MA. (MARKET/SALE)

Tuesday, April 26, 4pm
RELIGIOUS STUDIES/CONSTITUTIONAL LAW
The constitutional statements concerning separation of church and state have far-reaching impact on individual ideology, institutions, and even geography. In his forthcoming novel, Landscapes of the Secular: Law, Religion, and American Sacred Space, Nicholas Howe explores the intersection of these concepts. He discusses America’s nominal secularity, combined with freedom of religion, and how these concepts impact the way individuals view the American landscape. His book covers many topics: religious studies, architecture, geography, constitutional law and environmental history. He will be discussing this book at Williams College in the Stetson Reading Room of the Sawyer Library. 26 Hopkins Hall Drive, Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, April 26, 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. This is the last of six workshops taking place atErving Elementary School. This class promises to instill greater competence and confidence in your children and help them follow directions more effectively. Come to the final class to reflect on how this workshop has impacted your parenting strategies. 28 Northfield Road, Erving, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, April 26, 6:30pm-8pm
NUTRITION/RAW FOOD
There’s a good chance you’ve heard of the raw food diet, a nutritional lifestyle of eating uncooked, unprocessed and mostly organic foods. Diet is inexplicably tied to lifestyle, and you may have questions about how raw food meals work. What sort of raw food recipes can you prepare? What are the nutritional benefits of these foods? You don’t have to eliminate cooked meals from your life, but you may want to expand your diet to include more frequent ingestion of raw foods. Raw food expert Johanna Sophia will be able to answer your questions in her “Benefits of Raw Foods” workshop at River Valley Co Op. Pre-registration is required. Call 413-584-2665 or sign up at Customer Service. 330 North King Street, Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, April 26, 6:30pm-8:30pm
PARENTING/PSYCHOLOGY
Happiness studies have exploded in the last several years. It seems natural that neuroscientists and psychologists would be interested in empirically analyzing happiness, since it is often cited as the thing humans desire the most. Naturally, then, it is also one of the things parents want most for their children. And yet, happiness is elusive, and people often look for it in entirely the wrong places. Come to this presentation, “Raising a Happy Child,” and learn about the emotional tools and behaviors you can teach your children. Children often learn from example, and parents will likely come away from this talk with ideas on improving their own emotional state as well. Amherst Middle School Auditorium. Register for childcare by April 20th. 413-783-5500 ext 16. 170 Chestnut Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, April 26, 7pm
FINANCIAL LITERACY
The public awareness campaign Money Smart Week seeks to educate people of all ages on the topic of financial literacy. You can test your own knowledge by attending Understanding Credit at the Jones Library, a workshop on the wise use of credit which will cover concepts like your credit score and the best credit cards. Adults and older teens will likely find this highly valuable. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

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

  • 8:45am-10:15am – PLAYGROUP: The Community Network for Children hosts a playgroup for newborns through preschool-aged children with their caregivers at the Swift River School every Tuesday through June 30, 2016. It may not run on school holidays and in inclement weather; please call ahead to check. 978-544-5157. 201 Wendell Road, New Salem, MA. (FREE)
  • 9am-10am — PLAYGROUP : Weekly playgroup at Egremont Elementary School sponsored by Pittsfield CFCE. 413-441-0974. 84 Egremont Avenue, Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: Every Tuesday, Community Health Programs of Berkshire County hosts Toddler Steps, a playgroup for children ages 18 months- 3 years with their caregivers. 413-644-0104. 442 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11am – PLAYGROUP: Playgroup for young kids ages birth-preK at the Dickinson Memorial Library with Deb Wood features fun toys and more! Every Tuesday. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Easthampton Family Center is open every Monday, Tuesday, and Friday for drop-in playgroup and activities for kids ages 5 and under. The Family Center follows the Easthampton Public Schools schedule. 413-527-5496. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Northampton Parents Center will be open Monday-Thursday from 9:30am-11:30am for playgroup, toys, books, activities, and more. Kids ages 5 and under and their caregivers can drop in to meet and play with others. 413-582-2636. 297 Main Street, Lower Level. Northampton, MA. (DONATION)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Frontier Regional CFCE is offering a playgroup for kids ages 5 and under every Tuesday and Friday at Sunderland Elementary School through June 10, 2016. Follows Sunderland school schedule. 413-665-8928. 1 Swampfield Drive. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – SCHOOL READINESS: There will be a school readiness program every Tuesday at the Hilltown Family Center. 413-667-2203. 9 Russell Road. Huntington, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Young children and their caregivers are invited to participate in the Explore & Play playgroup, sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County, which meets Tuesday mornings. 413-644-0104. 1 North Main Road, Otis, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-12pm — PLAYGROUP: Children ages 0-5 and their parents are invited to a playgroup at the Belchertown Family Center every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday morning. 413-835-5201. 720 Franklin Street, Belchertown, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am – PARENT GROUP: Nursing Families group every Tuesday at the Haskins Center. 413-664-4821. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11am – STEAM: Preschool-age children can learn about science, technology, engineering, art, and math at the Dalton Free Public Library every Tuesday! There will be a story, a lesson, and a STEAM project. 413-684-6112. 462 Main Street. Dalton, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11am – STORYTIME: Join the Greenfield Public Library for a weekly storytime year-round! This event includes stories, songs, fingerplays, and crafts for kids age five and under. 413-772-1544 x5. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11:30pm – PLAYGROUP: The Westhampton Public Library will have a baby and toddler play time every Tuesday at 11am. They also offer a playgroup for children ages 0-5 and their caregivers on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month which begins at 10am. Kids can come play with toys, do a craft, read a book, and make new friends at this fun playgroup, year-round. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11:30am – LITERACY: Kids ages 2-5 can attend a literacy group at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Westfield. Come with a parent or caregiver and practice reading skills! Runs every Tuesday. 413-568-5242. 28 West Silver Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11:30am – PARENT SUPPORT GROUP: It Takes a Village Mother’s Circle runs every Tuesday at St. John’s Corner House. Come talk about motherhood with others in a supportive and caring environment. Expectant mothers welcome, and infants can attend, and there is childcare for older children. Follows the Mohawk Trail school schedule. 413-650-3640. 469 Main Street. Ashfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-5pm – WOODWORKING:The Shakers are known for their beautiful and simple handcrafted utilitarian objects. Visit the Hancock Shaker Village any Tuesday to watch master woodworkers create oval boxes using traditional tools and techniques. Borrow a free museum pass from the library. 413-443-0188. 1843 West Housatonic Street, Pittsfield, MA. (FREE for members and children 12 and under; $)
  • 10:15am-11:45am – CRAFTING: What better way to prepare for a cozy New England winter than to complete those knitting projects? Knitting alongside others also builds community and increases skills. The Storrs Library in Longmeadow offers a Novel Knitters drop-in program for adults where you can bring your own projects and supplies or participate in ongoing community projects. All levels of expertise are welcome. 413- 565-4182. Storrs Library, 693 Longmeadow St., Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30 – STORYTIME/SINGING: children ages 6 through 18 months are invited to the Berkshire Museum every Tuesday for storytime, singing, language learning and play. Caregivers are encouraged to use this time to socialize and discuss parenting experiences. There will be physical activities for the children as well. Cost is included with regular museum admission. 413-443-7171 x21. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($ Adults. >$ Children)
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Preschoolers can attend a fun storytime at the Chicopee Public Library the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month. Come for songs, finger plays, movement, stories, activities, and crafts. 413-594-1800 x107. 449 Front Street. Chicopee, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Storytime and music for ages 1-3 every Tuesday at the North Adams Public Library. 413-662-3133. 74 Church Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am — STORYTIME: Books and Babies, for children from birth to age 2, meets at the East Longmeadow Public Library every Monday. 413-525-5400, ext. 1511. 60 Center Square, East Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Preschool storytime every Tuesday at the Granby Free Public Library. Nurture your child’s love of books by engaging in stories and crafts. Ages 2 ½ to 5 years old. Drop in! 413-467-3320. 297 East State Street, Granby, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-11am – MUSIC: The Hubbard Library is offering a music program for preschoolers every Tuesday. Come for singing, clapping, and dancing. 413-583-5646. 24 Center Street. Ludlow, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-11:30am – STEM & LITERACY PLAYGROUP: The Mason Library invites children ages 0-5 with their caregivers to its Brain Builders Play & Learn Playgroup every Tuesday. Activities will include reading, singing, playing, circle time, and engaging table-time activities that focus on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) themes! 413-528-1720. 231 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-11:30am — MUSIC: Wendy Plummer leads “Sing with Your Baby” at the Jones Library every Tuesday. Babies, toddlers, and their caregivers can sing along and play with musical instruments. 413-259-3090. Woodbury Room, 43 Amity Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am – PLAYGROUP: Childcare of the Berkshires, Inc. holds a playgroup every Tuesday at the Adams Youth Center. 413-664-4821. 20 East Street Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Westhampton Public Library is holding a baby and toddler playtime every Tuesday. Come to the library and meet other kids and parents. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 11:00am – 12:00pm – PLAYGROUP: Child Care of the Berkshires, Inc. is offering a playgroup at Adams Youth Center for infants to 5 year olds. 413-664-4821. 20 East St., Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 11:00am – 12:00pm – SUPPORT GROUP Grandparents of all backgrounds and parenting styles are invited to the Amherst Family Center to discuss their experiences related to raising grandchildren, or supporting their own children in their parenting. Childcare provided up to age 4. This group will not meet when public schools are closed or delayed. 413-256-1145. 1200 North Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am-12pm – PLAYGROUP: Facilitator MaryBeth leads Baby Steps, a playgroup that meets Tuesdays. This playgroup is sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. 413-644-0104. 442 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 11:30am-1pm – KINSHIP SUPPORT GROUP: Grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other relatives who are raising their young relatives can attend a support group every second and fourth Tuesday in Turners Falls. Come to the group to learn about resources, meet others, share experiences, and seek support. Run by United Arc. 413-563-1981. 294 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)
  • 12:30pm-2pm – TECHNOLOGY SUPPORT: The Storrs Library’s Tech Tuesday ongoing, drop-in sessions allow folks to receive coaching in various skills with which they’ve been needing support. Learn how to use your new computer, send email, operate an e-reader, and more. Bring your phone, e-reader, or other relevant device. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street, Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)
  • 1pm-2pm – BREASTFEEDING SUPPORT: Are you or your partner facing breastfeeding challenges? Is nursing not what you thought it would be? Stop in to MaryBeth’s breastfeeding support group, which meets Tuesday afternoons, for advice, techniques, and emotional support. Babies and children welcome, of course! This group is sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. 413-644-0104. 442 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 1pm-3pm — KNITTING: Bring your needles and yarn to the Knitting Club at Lilly Library every Tuesday. All levels of experience welcome and lessons available. 413-587-1500. 19 Meadow Street, Florence, MA. (FREE)
  • 2pm – FILM: Amherst Cinema offers weekly matinees every Tuesday, especially for people with babies! This is a great chance to get out and see a movie without having to worry about finding a sitter. Check their website to see what’s playing each week. 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. >$
  • 2pm-2:45pm — STORYTIME/MUSIC/CRAFTS:
    Afternoon Preschool Storytime at the Jones Library is open to all kids from birth to age 5 but especially designed for kids who attend morning programs or school sessions. Listen to stories, sing songs, learn rhymes, and do a simple craft every Tuesday. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 3pm – KNITTING: On the second and fourth Tuesday of each month, the Stockbridge Library hosts a Sit & Knit group. All levels of knitters and crocheters can come spend time knitting with others. 413-298-5501. 46 Main Street. Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)
  • 3pm-4pm — LEGO CLUB Come build remote control devices and other cool stuff with LEGOs at the Bushnell-Sage Library. 413-229-7004. 48 Main Street, Sheffield, MA. (FREE)
  • 3pm-5pm – GAMES: Kids can play Magic the Gathering every Tuesday at Comics N’ More. A great chance for kids to make new friends with similar interests and learn how to play this fun card game! 413-529-0800. 31 Union Street. Easthampton, MA.
  • 3pm-5pm — TEENS: Afterschool Cafe every Tuesday at the Goodwin Memorial Library. Teens can be teens in their own space — a great place to work on homework, read, play games, hang with friends and chill out. Refreshments provided. 413-584-7451. 50 Middle Street (Corner of Routes 47 and 9), Hadley, MA. (FREE)
  • 3:30pm — LEGOS: Kids ages 6-8 can make their “LEGO Creations” every Tuesday at the West Springfield Public Library
    413-736-4561. 511 Main Street, West Springfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 3:30pm-4:30pm – LEGOS: The Family Resource Center is offering a LEGO group for ages 4-8 the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month. 413-664-4821. 74 Church Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 4pm-5pm — READING: Toby the reading dog loves to listen to stories. Come read to him every Tuesday in the Children’s Room at the Lee Library. 413-243-0385. 100 Main Street, Lee, MA. (FREE)
  • 4:30pm – AFTERSCHOOL & YO-YO: Not many toys can boast over 2,500 years of use worldwide, but the yo-yo has enjoyed consistent use in hundreds of cultures for nearly three millennia. The popular Northampton education-based store A to Z hosts Yo-Yo School three times a week inside their store, and their teachers are true masters. Open to all ages, although older elementary children often have the motor skills and coordination needed for it to be a bit easier to learn. Read more about Yo-Yo school on Hilltown Families. Call 413-586-1611. 57 King St., Northampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 5:15pm-6:45pm – KINSHIP SUPPORT GROUP: Grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, and others who are raising young relatives can attend a support group every first Tuesday Come to the group to learn about resources, meet others, share experiences, and seek support. Run by United Arc. 413-563-1981. 90 Federal Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 5:30pm-8pm – FILM STUDIES: The Red Gate Farm Film Club meets on the third Tuesday of every month to watch and discuss films in the farm’s program building. A homemade dinner is served, with an optional small donation to cover food costs. All ages welcome, but parents should know that PG and PG-13 movies are shown. Anyone in 3rd grade or younger must be accompanied by a parent or guardian, and participants under 17 must have a signed parental/guardian consent form in order to attend. 413-625-9503. 4 Norman Road, Buckland, MA. (FREE)
  • 6pm – LITERACY/GAMES: Meet up with other community members at the Monson Library each Tuesday for a game of Scrabble! 413-267-3866. 2 High Street. Monson, MA. (FREE)
  • 6pm – PARENTING & CLIMATE CHANGE: Mothers Out Front is a group of “mothers and others” who are concerned about climate change and passionate about creating a cleaner energy future for future generations. Learn more about the group’s work and meet other parents with whom to share your stories, hopes, and fears at their monthly climate support gatherings, held every 2nd Tuesday and 4th Thursday of the month. RSVP via the MOF site. Sunderland, MA (Tuesdays) and Florence, MA (Thursdays). (FREE)
  • 6pm-7pm – WRITING: The Sunderland Public Library hosts a Teen and Tween Writing Club the last Tuesday of each month. Students can come practice writing from prompts and doing activities and exercises – this is a great way to make friends and improve writing skills! Please sign up in advance. 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)
  • 6:30pm – ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE: Is the health of our Earth on your mind? Gather with others who are contemplating the same topic at the Environmental Awareness Discussion Group, which meets on the last Tuesday of the month at the Dickinson Memorial Library. Members of the group use both non-fiction and fiction books and films as launching off points for meaningful conversations about the environment. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street, Northfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 6:30pm-8pm — MUSIC STUDIES/UKULELE: Kids and adults ages 13 and up can join the Berkshire Ukulele Band (BUB) and learn to play the ukulele with multi-instrumentalist, teacher, and performer Rob Sanzone at the Berkshire South Regional Community Center. Ukulele technique, chord progressions, and songs from various musical genres will be taught. Limited number of ukuleles available for use. Beginners encouraged; reading music not required. Opportunities to perform at community events. Registration requested. Drop-ins encouraged, but call ahead, as the group sometimes performs off-site during class time. 413-528-2810. 15 Crissey Road, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE for members and guests)

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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Wednesday, April 27, 8am
ORNITHOLOGY/GUIDED NATURE HIKE
For humans, the natural world is peaceful and a great place to learn. Once you become interested in identifying birds (as well as plants, trees, and other wildlife) nature walks become puzzles to solve. This beginning bird identification walk around Jackson Pond will get you started with basic bird identification tips and examples of local birds to look and listen for. Bring water and a snack. Contact Doug at dbruce@bnrc.net or 413-499-0596 with questions. Meet at the Stockbridge Bowl boat launch on Route 183. Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, April 27, 5:30pm-7pm
PARENTING/PSYCHOLOGY
Time outs are a classic parenting technique for disciplining a child. The effectiveness of time outs demonstrates how much children need and want stimulation, and feedback from their parents. Some psychologists advise that brief time outs, even as short as one minute, can effectively enforce positive behaviors in young children. This four-part parenting workshop at The Family Center will provide recommendations about discipline methods, active communication, problem solving and consequences. Try out new methods and provide feedback for other parents as you meet on April 27, May 4, May 11 and May 18. Child care and transportation are available. This workshop is for caregivers who are actively parenting. Call 413-664-4821 to register. 210 State Street, North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, April 27, 6:30pm
FILM SCREENING/EDUCATION/PARENTING
The documentary series The Raising of America is meant to increase awareness of the struggles of modern parenting in this country, and to inspire changes in our education system, employment benefits, and culture. The film discusses political issues such as paid parental leave, sick leave, and affordable housing. Screening the film with other parents, educators, and people who care about children, is particularly productive. After this screening at the New Salem Public Library you can discuss potential solutions and ways of advocating with other parents and educators. 978-544-6334. 23 South Main Street, New Salem, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, April 27, 6:30pm-8pm
WOMEN & WRITING
Muriel Rukeyser once posed this challenge: “What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open.” The Powder Keg Sessions is a women’s writing workshop at the Ramsdell library, where women come together to share their truths. The workshops are run by Suzi Banks Baum, an author, artist, and mother who teaches classes on nurturing the habit of daily writing. Come see what writing can do for you, and what your writing can do for others. 413- 274-3738. 1087 Main St, Housatonic, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, April 27, 6:30pm-8pm
ZOOLOGY/ECOLOGY
Beavers have a remarkable impact on their habitat, as other animals are attracted to the ponds beavers create. Beavers help keep drinking water safe and increase biodiversity. Come to Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary to learn more about their habits and the history of beavers in North America. Beavers have spent 7 million years in this region, and many reintroduction efforts have taken place to improve declining beaver populations.This event is suitable for children three to twelve years old and their caregivers. Dress for the outdoors in long pants, long sleeves and a hat. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA. ($ Adult <$ Child <$ Members)

Wednesday, April 27, 7pm
LITERACY/POETRY
Have you been to a reading this National Poetry Month? It’s not too late! The Pelham Library will be celebrating with a reading from three local poets: Sarah Sousa, Richard Michelson and Michael Teig. Sarah Sousa has won numerous awards for her poetry and has also published prose. Richard Michelson is a prize-winning poet and children’s book author. Michael Teig is a founding editor of the international poetry journal, jubilat. Come hear three distinct and talented poetic voices. 413-253-0657. 2 South Valley Road. Pelham 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 28, 2016

Thursday, April 28, 10:30am
FINANCIAL LITERACY/STORYTIME
The public awareness campaign Money Smart Week seeks to educate people of all ages on the topic of financial literacy. Even very young children can learn these concepts through games, activities, and crafts. Money saving is a form of delayed gratification, the ability to resist an immediate reward in favor of a later reward. Often, and especially in the case of money saving, the later reward is also a greater one. Saving requires planning ahead, envisioning a goal, and exerting self-restraint. These skills benefit young children just as they benefit adults. This children’s story hour will feature themes of money saving. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, April 28, 12:15pm-1:15pm
ZOOLOGY/BIOLOGY
It can be difficult to wrap your head around the fact that birds, which are usually small, are closely related to a type of dinosaur which evolved over 60 million years ago. It may be easier to see resemblance in larger birds, such as emus. The Springfield Museums will be hosting a talk on emus, explaining their relation to large, meat-eating dinosaurs, and why farmers in America raise these ancient birds which originate from Australia. This talk will also teach listeners about the life cycle of emus, including development of the embryo. Attendees are invited to bring a lunch. 413-314-6488. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. (<$)

Thursday, April 28, 1pm-2pm
LIFELONG LEARNING/COMPUTER SCIENCE
Do you or someone you know need help building your computer skills? This Introduction to Microsoft Word workshop at the Westfield Athenaeum. will get you started creating, editing and saving documents.The workshop leader will help you set pages up with your preferred formatting, and show you how to cut, copy and paste words and images. Please call 413-562-0716 to register. 6 Elm Street, Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, April 28, 5:30pm-7:30pm
HERPETOLOGY/ZOOLOGY
Did you know that the Woodland salamander has no lungs? They respire through their skin. This time of year you can find these salamanders under logs and stones, where they shade themselves from the sun until night time. Come to the Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary to see them up close with nature experts. This event is suitable for children between the ages of five to twelve and their caregivers. Dress for the outdoors in long pants, long sleeves and boots. Call 413-637-0320 to register. 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA. ($ Adult <$ Child <$ Members)

Thursday, April 28, 6pm-8pm
UPCYCLING/CRAFTS
Do you love notebooks? You can make your own notebook for writing or drawing out of tea boxes and coffee cup sleeves. Rather than throwing these items away, use them as a blank slate for creativity. This event is great for self-expression since participants get to create the notebook itself as well as use it for a vehicle for future creative projects. This event is best suited for adults and teens. Please emai:l library.pelham@gmail.com or sign up in person at the Pelham Library. Space is limited. 413-253-0657. 2 South Valley Road, Pelham MA, (FREE)

Thursday, April 28, 6pm-8pm
PARENTING WORKSHOP
Second opinions, commiseration, and laughs are a huge help to anyone trying to raise a happy, healthy child. Parents of children ages birth to eight years are invited to meet, chat, and share experiences over the course of this three part workshop. Meetings will take place at Easthampton High School on Thursday April 28, Thursday May 5, and Thursday May 12th. Registration is required through the Collaborative for Educational Services website. 413-586-4900 x5568. 70 Williston Avenue, Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, April 28, 7pm
PARENTING/PSYCHOLOGY
Parents today have to compete with pervasive media and advertising for their children’s attention. What’s worse, these media outlets often promote unhealthy values such as materialism, consumerism and violence. Child development expert Dr. Nancy Carlsson-Paige works to fight back against these pressures on children through her work and research. She will be discussing her research and her book, Taking Back Childhood: A Proven Roadmap for Raising Confident, Creative, Compassionate Kids at The Eric Carle Museum. Please call 413-256-8989 to RSVP. 125 West Bay Road, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, April 28, 7pm-8:30pm
MUSIC STUDIES/DIXIELAND
There are many sub-genres of music under the general distinction of “jazz”: Bebop, free jazz, jazz fusion, smooth jazz, big band, and many more. Dixieland music is one of the first types of jazz, emerging in the 1910s in New Orleans and later spreading to Chicago and New York. You can learn about the genre in the most fun way possible: hearing it live with your friends and family. Dixieland Stomp will be performing at Chester Railway Station. 413-686-5027. 10 Prospect Street, Chester MA. (FREE)

Thursday, April 28, 7:30pm
PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT/CULTURAL HERITAGE
Award-winning comedian and storyteller Steve Solomon will walk you through his childhood, growing up with an Italian mother and a Jewish father, in his show “Cannoli, Latkes, and Guilt.” In this one-man show, Soloman will capture the voice and mannerisms of many characters as he presents the story of his dysfunctional yet lovable family at City Stage150 Bridge Street, Springfield, MA. ($$)

Thursday, April 28, 8pm
MUSIC STUDIES/POETRY
Jane Ira Bloom is a composer and a soprano saxophone player who has drawn inspiration from the words of Emily Dickinson for her latest performance piece, Wild Lines. Bloom draws connections between poetry and jazz, and believes that “Emily used words the way jazz musicians use notes.” You can witness feats of composition and performance by the Jane Ira Bloom Quartet, to take place in Bezanson Recital Hall at UMass Amherst. 413-545-2227. Amherst, MA. ($. Students <$)

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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 29, 2016

Friday, April 29, 8am-10am
ORNITHOLOGY/GUIDED NATURE HIKE
The holistic health benefits of spending time in nature are intuitive for anyone who does so. Scientific study of the phenomenon is also useful, though, for providing more information on these benefits. Nature walks may improve focus, mood, and even visual acuity. Bird watching is a wonderful way to get outdoors early in the morning while the world is especially peaceful. A nature walk early in the morning starts your day off right. Beginners and experts alike are invited to a bird walk at Canoe Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary. This event is best suited for adults and self-directed teens. Please bring binoculars. 413-637-0320. Holmes Road, Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, April 29, 10am and 7:30pm
THEATER STUDIES/MUSICAL
This lively musical production is based on the beloved children’s classic, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. Telling the timeless story of a world famous candy man and his quest to find an heir, Willy Wonka, a family-friendly musical, is sure to bring back wonderful chocolate-filled memories for adults and entertain children like never before! The show features cast members ranging from age 6 to 70 with an orchestra and engaging choreography. This rollicking performance will encourage children to seek out the rest of Roald Dahl’s quirky and imaginative stories and encourage all ages, perhaps, to become involved in their local community theater. The show is presented by Greene Room Productions and performances will be held at The Academy of Music Theatre. 413-584-9032. 274 Main Street, Northampton, MA. ($$)

Friday, April 29, 10am-12pm
PARENTING/PSYCHOLOGY
Learning de-escalation techniques can help prevent conflicts from becoming serious. These techniques are useful to know in many scenarios and are particularly useful for parents who want to handle their children’s emotional conflicts in the healthiest way possible. As part of the Positive Parenting Series, the Hilltown Family Center is hosting a workshop on de-escalation techniques for parents. Little Roots, an intergenerational music troupe, will also be performing, demonstrating the ways in which they enrich a love of music in children. 9 Russell Road, Huntington, MA. (FREE)

Friday, April 29, 11am
STEM/LITERACY
Every Friday, the Cushman Library puts on an event which blends STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) concepts with literacy. This STEM storytime is for anyone ages zero to five, and their caregivers. On Friday, April 29th, participants will learn about plant and soil science as they help bring new life into the library’s terrarium. Kids will plant flower seeds, bring them home, and watch them grow! After the gardening adventures, kids and their caregivers will hear a story. 413- 648-5402. 28 Church Street, Bernardston, MA. (FREE)

Friday, April 29, 5pm
WRITING/TEENS
The Northern Berkshire Community Coalition’s Teen Writing Workshop provides teenagers a safe space to express themselves, in both poetry and fiction. Writing can help these teens process emotions and events, and develop a useful skill. These writers will be showcasing some of their best work in a public performance at The Common Folk Gallery. Some material will be sensitive to younger children. There will be some material that may be sensitive to younger children, so please use discretion when attending this event. Come out and support the hard work these teens have put into writing. 413-663-7588. 18 Holden Street, North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Fri, April 29, 6:30-8pm
HEALTH & WELLNESS/NATURAL REMEDIES
Natural remedies to aid your body and mind as you transition between seasons.  Ally Sterling from Delicious Dirt Designs & Apothecary shares her knowledge of local plants and their effects on human health, through herbal teas, tinctures, and oils. Find out how to help your digestive system and how to open up your respiratory system through natural products.  Make your own herbal tea blend and salt scrub to take home!  413-498-2455. Dickinson Memorial Library. 115 Main Street, Northfield, MA (FREE)

Friday, April 29, 6:30pm-10pm
PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT/FUNDRAISER
Amherst Ballet’s 12th Annual Spring Fling Live & Silent Auction will include hors d’oeuvres, student performances, live and silent auctions, and more. You can dance to the music of Diversion while supporting the formal dance studies provided by Ballet for All. Ballet for All offers dance classes to students of all ages and abilities across the Pioneer Valley. Dancing provides people with a sense of community and self-expression while also getting healthy exercise, improving strength and flexibility. This fundraiser will take place in the Hampshire College Red Barn. 893 West Street, Amherst, MA. (FUNDRAISER)

Friday, April 29, 6:30pm
PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT/FUNDRAISING
This fundraiser for The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts features a silent auction, catering from some of the best local restaurants, and a 1950s theme! Enjoy a community meal with dishes from The Log Cabin, Blue Heron, Luxe Burger and more at The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Later, dance along to upbeat music from the 1950s. This is a fun, community-building way to lend your support to end hunger. 1000 Hall of Fame Avenue, Springfield, MA. (FUNDRAISER

Friday, April 29, 6:30pm-8pm
PLANT SCIENCE/HOLISTIC HEALTH
As the seasons change, the Earth opens up new nutritional possibilities through thriving local plants. At the same time, some people experience health issues with the changing seasons, such as allergies. Come to the Northfield Public Library to learn about local plants, herbal teas, tinctures, and oils. Ally Sterling from Delicious Dirt Apothecary will explain the health benefits of these products, and you’ll have a chance to make your own herbal tea and a salt scrub to take home. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street, Northfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, April 29, 7pm
INTERGENERATIONAL/GAME NIGHT
The word “trivial” means unimportant, or of little value. But trivia knowledge, given that it spans all subject matters, can be very valuable. Building the perfect trivia team is a way of recognizing the varied knowledge and interests of your friends and family members. Put together your best possible team of two to five people, ages sixteen and up, for trivia night at the Clapp Memorial Library. Registration is preferred but not required. 413-323-0417. 19 S Main Street, Belchertown, MA. (FREE)

Friday, April 29, 7:30pm
PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT/CULTURAL HERITAGE
Award-winning comedian and storyteller Steve Solomon will walk you through his childhood, growing up with an Italian mother and a Jewish father, in his show “Cannoli, Latkes, and Guilt.” In this one-man show, Soloman will capture the voice and mannerisms of many characters as he presents the story of his dysfunctional yet lovable family. City Stage150 Bridge Street, Springfield, MA. ($$)

Friday, April 29, 8pm
MUSIC STUDIES/VOCAL MUSIC
The Amherst College Concert Choir provides students a possibility to connect with their peers and their community through music. In 2001, this group went on a European tour to Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic. At this performance you can hear their rendition of performs the Liebeslieder Waltzes (Lovesong Waltzes) by Brahams, as well as Six Chansons of Paul Hindemith, and Three Ancient Irish Airs by Percy Hall. Vocal music such as choir performances can demonstrate to audiences that the emotions expressed through music transcend barriers of language and culture. Buckley Recital Hall. 413-542-2484. 53 College Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Friday, April 29, 8pm
THEATER/ROCK MUSICAL
Spring Awakening is an extraordinary new rock musical with book and lyrics by Steven Sater and music by Grammy Award-nominated recording artist Duncan Sheik. Inspired by Frank Wedekind’s controversial 1891 play about teenage sexuality and society’s efforts to control it, the piece seamlessly merges past and present, underscoring the timelessness of adolescent angst and the universality of human passion. Presented by the Arena Civic Theater and performances will be held at the Ruth B. Smith Auditorium at the Orange Town Hall. 413-233-4368. 6 Prospect Street, Orange, 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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