Suggested Events for April 30th-May 6th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events
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If 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

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.

May 10

Smith College Campus School Spring Open House. Prospective kindergarten through grade 6 students and their parents are invited to an open house on Tuesday, May 10, from 3:30pm-5:30pm, at the school (33 Prospect Street, Northampton, MA). Join them for an interactive afternoon and explore what Campus School students love about school! For more information contact the admission office at 413-585-3270 or visit their website, www.smith.edu/sccs

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LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
April 30-May 6, 2016

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Donate Now Events Happening in the Hilltowns

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Ongoing Saturday Events

Hilltown Family Variety Show9-10am – HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW: Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org. Encore of Saturday’s broadcast airs Sunday morning from 7-8am and podcast is posted here on Hilltown Families immediately following Sunday’s broadcast. Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcasts anytime. Click here to choose from over 9 years!

Saturday, April 30,
LIVING HISTORY/COLONIAL
Do your children love history and hands-on projects? Storrowton Village’s week long program, Early American Summer Days, can keep them engaged in historical learning this summer. This program will take place during the week of August 8 through 12, 2016, from 9:30 am – 3:30 pm each day. Participants will engage in crafts, games, and learning about skills like blacksmithing, basket weaving, cheese making, and more. Registration has opened up on the Storrowton Village’s website. For more information call 413-205-5051. 1305 Memorial Avenue, West Springfield, MA. ($$$)

Saturday, April 30, 7am-10am
ORNITHOLOGY/GUIDED NATURE HIKE
There is more to the phenomenon of bird chirping than simple mating messages. Bird songs evolve socially. Although species sing the same song, individual birds learn songs from their fathers and dialects develop regionally. You can learn about migratory patterns of birds on a guided walk with bird song and ornithology expert John Green. This event is for beginning and intermediate birders. Meet at the entrance to the Great Falls Discovery Center. Space is limited so please register by calling 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 30, 8am-12pm
SERVICE-BASED LEARNING/VOLUNTEER
Join hundreds of other volunteers across the state as they make a huge impact in their communities. In celebration of the upcoming summer season, parks, trails, nature and community centers across the state are throwing volunteer-based clean up days. You can lend a helping hand by cleaning up at the Berkshire South Regional Community Center. 413-528-2810. 15 Crissey Road, Great Barrington, MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Saturday, April 30, 8am-2pm
DENDROLOGY/ECOLOGY
Do you want to learn about trees, plants and forest ecology, while encouraging your pre-kindergarten through eighth grade students to learn as well? Aimee Gelinas, director and naturalist of Tamarack Hollow Nature and Cultural Center, is hosting this tree identification and nature studies workshop free of charge. If you wish to buy the Project Learning Tree guide, it costs $20. For more information, questions, or to pre-register, please contact Aimee at Aimee@gaiaroots.com. Workshops will be held at the Notchview Reservation and The Tamarack Hollow Nature and Cultural Center Windsor, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 30, 8:30am-2pm
COLLABORATIVE CONSUMPTION
Do you have outdoor gear you don’t need anymore? Consider putting it on consignment with All Out Adventures. You will get 70% of the profits, and your outdoor gear will find a good home just in time for Spring adventures! You are also invited to shop for used items including recumbent trikes, tag-along bikes, jogging strollers, clothing, boots, tents and more. 413-584-2052. 214 State Street, Northampton, MA. (MARKET/SALE)

Saturday, April 30, 8:30am-3:30pm
AGRICULTURE/HORTICULTURE/S.T.E.M
There are many reasons to get involved in the homesteading movement, a trend towards self-reliance in daily living. Homesteading is multi-faceted and can cover topics such as horticulture, agriculture, textiles, cooking, and carpentry. In learning about these subjects you can also be encouraging a host of personal skills such as patience and mindfulness. The HAY Conference is a wonderful introduction to many topics for homesteading, as well as the exploration of career paths for teens and adults. Teachers and homeschooling parents will gain ideas for engaging lesson plans. Please register online and indicate which sessions you wish to attend. A list of all sessions and workshops can be found at the Hawlemont Elementary School’s Facebook page. Call 413-339-8316 for more information. Charlemont, MA. ($ – $$$)

Saturday, April 30, 9am-12pm
SERVICE-BASED LEARNING/NATURE-BASED RESOURCES
Mass Audubon is having a statewide, volunteer-based cleanup day to prepare sites for summer events and programs. You can learn about invasive species as you remove them and spruce up the grounds at either Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary in Easthampton, or Laughing Brook Wildlife Sanctuary in Hampden. At both locations there will be opportunities for learning about the conservation work done by their organizers, as well as a natural history walk. Visit the Mass Audubon website for more information. Call 413-584-3009 to register for participation at either location: 127 Combs Road, Easthampton, MA. (VOLUNTEER) or Main Street, Hampden, MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Saturday, April 30, 9am-1pm
SERVICE-BASED LEARNING/NATURE-BASED RESOURCES
The Canoe Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary provides nature lovers of all ages with a resource for learning about local habitat and animal behavior. By participating in this volunteer clean-up day, you can help prepare the sanctuary for the upcoming summer season through various projects. Gloves, tools, and a lunch will be provided. Call 413-637-0320 to register. All ages are welcome. Holmes Road, Pittsfield, MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Saturday, April 30, 9am-1pm
SERVICE-BASED LEARNING/NATURE-BASED RESOURCES
Parks, trails, forests, and public beaches are not only fun and relaxing places to spend your time. They can be used as resources for learning about topics such as zoology, biology, ecology, habitat and life cycles. The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation is holding its annual Park Serve Day at various locations across the state. You can help clean up Pittsfield State Forest and prepare it for the summer season. 413- 442-8992. 1041 Cascade Street, Pittsfield, MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Saturday, April 30, 9am-3pm
CITIZEN SCIENTIST/NATURE STUDIES
Elms College is throwing a Bioblitz at Chicopee Memorial State Park. Teachers, students, parents and friends of all ages are invited to team up with scientists to identify as many of the park’s living creatures as possible in a single day. This is a wonderful opportunity to meet people working in scientific fields and ask them questions about science in general or about their careers specifically. Participation can get community members interested in the biodiversity of their local lands, and as a result make them more invested in conservation efforts. Documenting local species can give scientists clues for further research. You never know what you’re going to find until you look! Please register online at the Elms College website. 570 Burnett Road, Chicopee, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 30, 9am-3pm
PARENTING/TEACHING
Unfortunately, gifted students in public schools sometimes exhibit behavioral issues stemming from boredom and lack of stimulation. Teachers who recognize gifted students as such and provide them with activities and resources enable them to thrive in the classroom. Parents may be more likely to recognize their child as gifted but may need to advocate for the right education for their child. This Conference On Gifted Children will address the academic and emotional needs of gifted children in the classroom and in the home. Network with other parents or teachers and get great advice to support your child’s abilities. Register at the Mass Gifted. website. Academy Hill School. 413-788-0300. 1190 Liberty Street, Springfield, MA. ($$)

Saturday, April 30, 9am-4pm
BOTANY
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 30, 9:30am-2pm
SERVICE-BASED LEARNING/NATURE-BASED RESOURCES
Parks, trails, forests, and public beaches are not only fun and relaxing places to spend your time. They can be used as resources for learning about topics such as zoology, biology, ecology, habitat and life cycles. The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation is holding its annual Park Serve Day at various locations across the state. You can help clean up Chicopee State Park and prepare it for the summer season. 413- 594-9416. 570 Burnett Road, Chicopee, MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Saturday, April 30, 10am-12pm.
MONTESSORI EDUCATION/OPEN HOUSE
Thinking about your child’s options for preschool or kindergarten? Amherst Montessori School is hosting an Open House for prospective parents! Meet teachers and administrators, tour their beautiful school in South Amherst, and learn about the Montessori curriculum for infants through sixth grade. AMS programs feature thoughtfully-prepared classrooms to support the child’s development, and a curriculum that integrates music, art, practical life, outdoor time, physical education, Spanish, and more. Register online at amherstmontessori.org. 413-253-3101. 27 Pomeroy Lane, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 30, 10:00 a.m.
HISTORY/CIVIL ENGINEERING
The Allen timber dam may be one of the oldest dams of its type in Massachusetts. The Allen Dam, along with the Bartlett Dam, was removed to promote ecological restoration of the brook and to address public safety issues. You can learn more at this presentation at the Pelham Library. Speakers will guide you through the history of the dams, their removal, and how the stream is responding. Topics will include sea lamprey and stream ecology. See the full schedule on the Pelham Historical Society website. 413-695-1797. 2 South Valley Road, Pelham, MA (FREE)

Saturday, April 30, 10am
LOCAL HISTORY/GRAVESTONE STUDIES
For those who are not too put off but the dark subject matter, gravestones allow for interesting insight into history. They are a form of sculpture, a cultural tradition, and provide centuries’ old information on people who lived in a particular time and place. You are welcome to join the Association for Gravestone Studies’ Western New England Chapter where speakers will cover several aspects of the topic including the green burial movement, and a photographic history of gravestones for men who were killed during construction of the Hoosac Tunnel. Please RSVP to Andrea Carlin, anduruna@hotmail.com. Hatfield Congregational Church, 41 Main Street, Hatfield, MA. (DONATION)

Saturday, April 30, 10am-2pm
SERVICE-BASED LEARNING/NATURE-BASED RESOURCES
Do you love the Great Falls Discovery Center? Give back by volunteering your time to help clean up the park. Volunteers will help spread mulch for garden beds, and clean up leaves and trash. Bring a friend and meet other nature lovers. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 30, 10am-2pm
ANGLING/FISHING
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is encouraging young people to fish with a free day of fishing for anyone ages fourteen and under. Food will be available to purchase, and rods and reels can be borrowed. You can bring your own rod and reel as long as it has barbless hooks. This event is accessible to people with disabilities. Call for more information or if accommodations are needed. 413-253-8453. 300 Westgate Center Drive. Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 30, 10am-2pm
PUBLIC HEALTH/PHARMACEUTICALS
Bringing unwanted and expired prescriptions to a prescription round-up event is a simple act which can help cut down on drug abuse in your community while keeping pharmaceuticals out of our water system. Medicine take-back programs are the only 100% safe and environmentally friendly way of disposing of these medicines. You are welcome to bring your unwanted medications from anyone in your family, including pets, to drop off stations at the North Adams Police Station, the Adams Police Station, and at the Berkshire Mall Food Court For more info, contact Wendy Penner at wpenner@nbccoalition.org. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 30, 10am-3pm
FILM STUDIES/ZOOLOGY
This screening of family-friendly, short animated films at the Berkshire Museum allows children and adults to learn about art, film, biology, and natural history. Filmmakers and journalists capture science and natural history with paper-puppet animation techniques. This screening is free with regular museum admission. Be sure to check out the ArtZoo exhibit for further learning about animals and art! 413-443-7171. 39 South Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($. Under 18 <$. Under 3 FREE)

Saturday, April 30, 10am-3pm
LITERACY/LIVE MUSIC
Celebrate the grand reopening of The Stockbridge Library, Museum & Archives with live music, theater, and face painting! Performances from Brass Quintet with Paul Sundberg and Jeff Stevens, Shakespeare & Company, and The Quintessentials acapella group will help celebrate the first renovation of the library in eighty years. Photographs by Clemens Kalischer will be on view. Attendees of all ages are invited to participate in a scavenger hunt. 413-298-5501. 46 Main Street, Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 30, 10am-4pm
HISTORY/ANIMAL STUDIES
The opening up of Hancock Shaker Village to visitors brings many educational opportunities for children and adults. Starting April 16th and running every day through May 8th, you can meet newborn lambs, piglets, calves, goats, chicks and ducklings in the Round Stone Barn. Learn about the biology of these animals and their significance in the context of farming life. Through the topic of sheep shearing, visitors also find out interesting facts on the anatomy and physiology of sheep and gain insight into Colonial life. In addition to history and biology, many people who visit Shaker Village are interested in the architecture of the Round Stone Barn, built in 1826 as a cow stable. On the weekend of April 30th-May 1st you can view hands-on textile demonstrations. Through the entire run of this season, animal paintings will also be on display. Hancock Shaker Village has something for everyone: art, history, science, and baby animals! 413-443-0188. 843 West Housatonic St. Pittsfield MA. (Children 12 and under FREE. 13-17 <$. Adult $)

Saturday, April 30, 10am-5pm
SERVICE-BASED LEARNING/LOCAL HISTORY
The William Cullen Bryant Homstead is an iconic architectural piece which allows visitors to learn about the poet and journalist’s life in a fun and memorable way. You can help bring Bryant’s summer home out of winter hibernation by helping The Trustees at this rare, behind-the-scenes opportunity to clean the iconic collections, prepare the home for seasonal tours and learn with Curator of Collections, Mark Wilson. Come and volunteer for part of the day or the full day and expand your interest in local history while giving back to your community. To sign up, visit The Trustees website or call 413-532-1631 x3110. 207 Bryant Road, Cummington, MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Saturday, April 30, 10am-5pm
CERAMICS/HISTORY
Pottery appears as a cultural artifact from all corners of the Earth. It can be revered and studied as an art form, a functional object, and a historical artifact. (You can read more about discovering history through pottery in this Hilltown Families post from 2015). You are invited to view pottery in historical and contemporary styles on this walking tour of the Asparagus Valley Pottery Trail. In various clay studios you will see tableware, sculptures, and architectural tiles made by nationally-known artists and makers. For more information call 413-824-6506. Studios are located across the pioneer valley in: Northampton/Amherst; Greenfield and the northern Valley; and the Mohawk Trail village of Shelburne Falls. (FREE)

Saturday, April 30, 11am
CULTURAL STUDIES/FOLK ART
This year, Ukrainian Easter will be celebrated on May 1st. Participants ages 12 and up can celebrate by learning how to decorate eggs in the Lithuanian style at the Whately Public Library. Lithuanian sisters Carol Dailida and Lorraine Dailida Starr will demonstrate techniques and be able to discuss this cultural tradition. 413- 665-2170. 202 Chestnut Plain Rd, Whately, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 30, 11am
LITERACY
April 30, 2016 is Independent Bookstore Day! This is the perfect time to celebrate the joy of independent, brick and mortar bookstores, which bring communities together through events and localized book offerings. Drop in to The Odyssey Bookshop at 11am for a Mo Willems themed storytime, or 2pm for a Horrible Bear-themed story time. There will also be coloring stations, a graffiti wall, pastries, signed merchandise, and an opportunity to take “shelfie” photos with your favorite books! 413-534-7307. 9 College Street, South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 30, 11:30pm-1:30pm
STEM/CRAFTS
For this S.T.E.A.M. (science, technology, engineering, art and math) event at the Meekins Library, children will learn about biology through an introductory lesson on spring peepers. Participants will hear what these small frogs sound like, learn about their life cycle, and make a peeper puppet! 413-268-7472. 2 Williams Street, Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 30, 12pm-3pm
ECOLOGY/CITIZEN SCIENTIST
Although vernal pools are by definition a temporary habitat, they provide the perfect breeding ground for spotted salamanders, wood frogs, tiny mussels, fairy shrimp, and many other creatures. These habitats provide rich biodiversity for New England forests and are a great resource for nature lovers who want to learn about the wide array of living things who inhabit them. These habitats can easily be destroyed, however. You can help by learning how to identify and protect a vernal pool through this workshop presentation and hands-on learning activity. The presentation is open to all. The site visit requires registration. Call 413-623-2070 to register. Meet at Becket Town Hall. 557 Main Street, Becket, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 30, 1pm
MUSIC STUDIES/CHORAL
The Amherst College Women’s Chorus Spring concert will take you all the way from the compositions of Brahms, to those of Canadian bluegrass trio The Wailin Jennys. The group will also perform renditions of songs by Irish composer Fergus O’Farrell. A light brunch will be served around noon. For more information call 413-542-2484. Buckley Recital Hall. 53 College Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 30, 1pm-4pm
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
Co-housing is a concept which encourages community and neighborly cooperation through architectural planning and intention setting. Co-housing can take various forms involving a combination private and shared spaces. Rocky Hill CoHousing will be offering an open house with tours of their facilities and information as well as fun activities for kids including a bounce house, games, and nature walks. Learn about the emotional and practical benefits of cooperative housing. 100 Black Birch Trail, Florence, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 30, 1pm-4pm
ART STUDIES/NATURE STUDIES
The beauty of nature acts as a muse for many artists. Combining appreciation of art with time spent in nature is a great way to honor this relationship. The Art Fair at Wistariahurst Museum will feature sculpture, painting, photography, fabric arts, fine art, glass, ceramics, wood crafts, furniture, and jewelry. All artwork will be for sale, so you will have the opportunity to support local artists. 413-322 5660. 238 Cabot Street, Holyoke, MA. (DONATION)

Saturday, April 30, 1pm-4pm
HORTICULTURE/GARDENING
Gardening imposes human organization onto nature, often with stunning results. Landscape designer Owen Wormser studies naturally occurring, local plant habitats and creates gardens which closely mimic them. His designs result in low maintenance gardens of plants which naturally thrive together. His workshop at the Hitchcock Center for the Environment will help you design a similar landscape for your backyard, while discovering the aesthetic qualities of these natural plant combinations. Please bring ideas, photographs, and/or sketches of your property. Register by calling 413-256-6006. 525 South Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA. ($$)

Saturday, April 30, 4pm and 7:30pm
YOUTH THEATER
Performing music, theater, or comedy in front of a supportive audience and as part of a team can help teenagers and children achieve high self-esteem and a sense of belonging. Theater allows actors to express themselves creatively through various characters, while becoming more in-tune to emotions through their performance training. The skill to project their voices and articulate their words can also benefit them in many possible career paths. The Drama Studio provides youth with the opportunity to intensively study theater through after school programs and vacation camps. Come to their Cabaret performance to witness a showcase of acting, comedy, stage combat, dance and musical theatre. 413-739-1983. 41 Oakland Street, Springfield, MA. ($. <$ Students.)

Saturday, April 30, 2pm
INTERGENERATIONAL MUSIC
Singing releases both endorphins and oxytocin, leaving the singer more relaxed. Oxytocin also causes a feeling of bonding with others. Combine singing with a sense of community and you are bound to experience a strong sense of belonging. The Sunderland Public Library is hosting a community sing, for all ages and abilities. Participants will sing
Oldies, new music, seasonal songs, folk, pop, traditional, and personal requests. 413- 665-2642. 20 School Street, Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 30, 2pm-5pm
HORTICULTURE/ENTOMOLOGY
You don’t have to be a beekeeper to attract pollinators to your backyard or garden. You can help reverse the decline in honeybee and native pollinator populations with strategic gardening. Certain plants will naturally attract these insects, which will beautify your garden in a mutually beneficial relationship with the plants. Join instructor Tom Sullivan for his workshop, “Supporting Pollinator Habitats on the Homestead,” provided by the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Massachusetts. Please register by contacting Dan Bensonoff, Education Events Organizer, at dan@nofamass.org or 860-716-512. 195 Chapman Street, Greenfield, MA. ($$)

Saturday, April 30, 2:30pm and 7:30pm
CHILDREN’S CLASSIC/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. ($$)

Saturday, April 30, 3pm-9pm
ART/CREATIVE FREE PLAY
Some works of art require passive enjoyment, for example, a painting in a gallery which you are not allowed to touch. Other art forms invite interactive, audience participation. FIGMENT North Adams is a group which encourages the latter. This all ages event at Windsor Lake will showcase accessible, participatory works of art. 200 Windsor Lake Road, North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 30, 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. ($$)

Saturday, April 30, 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. Performances by the Arena Civic Theater will be held at the Ruth B. Smith Auditorium at the Orange Town Hall. 413-233-4368. 6 Prospect Street, Orange, MA. ($$)

Saturday, April 30, 8pm
MUSIC STUDIES/JAZZ
Big band jazz refers to a particular kind of jazz music from the swing era of the 1930s through the 1940s. Big band ensembles, such as the Amherst College Jazz Ensemble, keep the spirit of this musical movement alive today. The ACJE will be playing music from Duke Ellington, Les Hooper, Peggy Lee, Fred Sturm, Pat Metheny, Stan Kenton and others at their final concert of the academic year. 413- 542-2199. Buckley Recital Hall. 53 College Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

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Sunday, May 1, 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, May 1, 9am-4pm
ORNITHOLOGY/ZOOLOGY
With Spring in the air, you may find yourself wondering about bird calls and sounds. What is the purpose of the sounds they make? How come some birds just seem to vocalize simple chirps while others have elaborate, melodious songs? Bird songs evolve socially, and although species sing the same song, dialects develop regionally. “Bird language” is a term referring to the combined chirps, songs, and behaviors which allow birds to communicate with each other. Humans can learn these cues too! This workshop at the Mass Audubon’s Berkshire Sanctuaries and Flying Deer Nature Center will teach participants about bird language through storytelling, lecture, slideshows, outdoor activities and field exercises. There will be activities for adults and teens, as well as a separate day of activities for kids ages six through twelve. 413-637-0320. 472 W Mountain Road, Lenox, MA. ($$$)

Sunday, May 1, 10am-4pm
CULTURAL HERITAGE/ORAL HISTORY
Have you ever been curious to check out the Yiddish Book Center? This resource for Jewish cultural preservation offers digital and physical collections of oral histories and Yiddish literature. At their free open house, you can participate in guided tours at 11am and 1pm. Oral history films will showcase Yiddish literary figures and their descendants. At 2pm, a talk by Adam Kirsch: “Is There Such a Thing as Jewish Literature?” will explore formal patterns in Jewish literature. 1021 West Street, Amherst, MA (FREE)

Sunday, May 1, 10am-5pm
CERAMICS/HISTORY
Pottery appears as a cultural artifact of all corners of the Earth. It can be revered and studied as an art form, a functional object, and a historical artifact. (You can read more about discovering history through pottery in this Hilltown Families post from 2015). You are invited to view pottery in historical and contemporary styles on this walking tour of the Asparagus Valley Pottery Trail. In various clay studios you will see tableware, sculptures, and architectural tiles made by nationally-known artists and makers. For more information call 413-824-6506. Studios are located across the pioneer valley in: Northampton/Amherst; Greenfield and the northern Valley; and the Mohawk Trail village of Shelburne Falls. (FREE)

Sunday, May 1, 10am-5pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES
Every first Sunday of the month, The Clark Art Institute offers free admission! The Clark Art Institute, located in north Berkshire County, is one of a small number of institutions globally that is both an art museum and a center for research, critical discussion, and higher education in the visual arts. On this free admission day, visitors can enjoy an outdoor percussion performance, gallery talks, Irish folk music, floral arrangement demonstrations, and special flower-themed crafts! 413-458-2303. 225 South Street, Williamstown, MA (FREE)

Sunday, May 1, 11am-4pm
LIVING HISTORY/RENAISSANCE
Living history museums and events provide interesting insight into the ways in which we engage with historical information. Renaissance fairs first emerged in the United States in the 1950s, as part of a larger interest in medieval culture and music. Living history challenges actors and attendees to think about history beyond events by learning about customs, dress, accents and behaviors. The 14th Annual Community Renaissance Festival hosted by The Massachusetts Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies will be highly entertaining and educational. Attendees of all ages will have the chance to witness and learn about jewelry making, pottery, weaving, and woodworking. There will be sword demonstrations, juggling, Tarot reading, dancing and music. The Theater Truck will be performing Commedia Grab Bag! in the Big Tent at 11:30. The full event schedule can be found on the The Massachusetts Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies website. 413-577-3600. 650 E Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, May 1, 12pm-4pm
MAY DAY
Celebrate May Day with face painting, pony rides, food, raffle, prizes, games, a bounce house and more at Pelham Elementary School’s Spring Fair. Proceeds from this event will help purchase needed equipment for the school and help fund educational field trips and cultural enrichment programs. Contact hanson9@charter.net with questions. 413-253-3595. 45 Amherst Rd, Pelham, MA. (<$ – $$ activities)

Saturday, May 1, 1pm
FORAGING/HORTICULTURE
Want to learn about wild edible plants and useful herbs? Join the Northampton/Amherst Herbal Meetup Group on a wild food walk. You will learn about local plants and how to forage them for personal use in a sustainable way. You will be able to take some plants home with you for cooking. The group will meet at the Green River Recreation Area. For more information, join the group on Meetup and contact the event organizers. Nash’s Mill Rd, Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, May 1, 1pm-4pm
MUSIC STUDIES/DANCE
You can witness ballet, belly dancing, drumming, choir, brass, a capella and more in one afternoon at the UMass Fine Arts’ Center plaza. This all ages event will also include crafting, free face painting, interactive family music and dance lessons! This is a great opportunity for parents to help their children identify artistic interests, and for adults and lifelong learners to enjoy professional performances. For a full list of performances, visit the UMass Fine Arts’ Center website. 413-545-3671. 151 Presidents Drive, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, May 1, 1pm-4pm
ART STUDIES/NATURE STUDIES
The beauty of nature acts as a muse for many artists. Combining appreciation of art with time spent in nature is a great way to honor this relationship. The Art Fair at Wistariahurst Museum will feature sculpture, painting, photography, fabric arts, fine art, glass, ceramics, wood crafts, furniture, and jewelry. All artwork will be for sale, so you will have the opportunity to support local artists. 413-322 5660. 238 Cabot Street, Holyoke, MA. (DONATION)

Sunday, May 1, 1pm-6pm
MAY DAY/BELTANE
May Day, approximately halfway between the Spring equinox and Summer solstice, is celebrated with rituals and festivals. In Gaelic tradition, these rituals served to protect people, animals, and crops at a time when livestock were driven out to pasture. You can engage in a symbolic celebration of Spring and growth at EarthSpirit’s Open House. Attendees will walk the land, gather around the Maypole, and enjoy a potluck supper. For directions and information, email openhouse@earthspirit.com or call 413-238-4240. Worthington, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, May 1, 2pm
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. Performances by Arena Civic Theater will be held at the Ruth B. Smith Auditorium at the Orange Town Hall. 413-233-4368. 6 Prospect Street, Orange, MA. ($$)

Sunday, May 1, 2pm
FILM STUDIES/HOLOCAUST STUDIES
The film Irena Sendler: In the Name of Their Mothers tells the story of Warsaw women who risked their lives to save thousands of Jewish children during World War II. Filmmakers use interviews, rare archival footage, family photographs to capture this courageous tale. You can attend a free screening at the Berkshire Museum and participate in a post-show discussion. 413-443-7171 ext. 360. 39 South Street, Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, May 1, 2pm-4pm
DENDROLOGY/ECOLOGY
Have you ever seen a strangely shaped tree and wondered why it grew that way? Environmental events such as storms can cause trees to grow in a bent direction. Tom Wessels, author of Reading the Forested Landscape: A Natural History of New England, will be giving a workshop on interpreting the history of forests. Clues such as tree shapes, scars in bark, and various forms of decay can tell you about the natural history of the land. Come to this workshop at Hawlemont Elementary School to learn more. 10 School Street, Charlemont, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, May 1, 3:30pm
HISTORY/GAMES
Want to learn about 19th century life by playing a fun dice game? Bunco was a popular game originating in San Francisco during the 1850’s Gold Rush, and was played up until about the 1920s. There has been a Bunco revival going on since the 1980s. You’re invited to the Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum to learn about the game, and play! Please register by April 30th by calling 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street, Lenox, MA. ($)

Sunday, May 1, 6:30pm
YOUTH THEATER
Performing music, theater, or comedy in front of a supportive audience and as part of a team can help teenagers and children achieve high self-esteem and a sense of belonging. Theater allows actors to express themselves creatively through various characters, while becoming more in-tune to emotions through their performance training. The skills of projecting their voices and articulating their words is also useful for many potential career paths. The Drama Studio provides youth with the opportunity to intensively study theater through after school programs and vacation camps. Come to their Cabaret performance to witness a showcase of acting, comedy, stage combat, dance and musical theatre. 413-739-1983. 41 Oakland Street, Springfield, MA. ($. <$ Students.)

Sunday, May 1, 7pm
MUSIC STUDIES/FOLK MUSIC
You can hear established and emerging singer-songwriters in this free performance at Williams College. Well-established folk artist Dar Williams draws on a long-standing folk tradition of writing songs about social justice. Bernice Lewis has been touring for more than three decades, and has worked over the past four years with Williams College student (class of 2016) Lucy Davis. You can hear all three of them perform in Goodrich Hall. 413-597-3131. 880 Main Street, Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, May 1, 7pm-9pm
INTERNATIONAL WORKERS’ DAY
In the late 19th century, the Gaelic Spring festival May Day became associated with the socialist and communist movement for workers’ rights. May first was chosen as International Workers Day, and for this reason, the political holiday is sometimes referred to as “May Day,” although it is a different celebration. You can learn more about the history of International Workers’ Day, as well as current workers’ rights issues, through dramatic readings and music at Holyoke Heritage State Park. Performances and discussions will take place in the visitor’s center. Register by emailing your name, phone number and address to wmjwj@wmjwj.org. 413-534-1723. 221 Appleton Street, Holyoke, MA. (DONATION)

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Monday, May 2, 2016

Monday, May 2, 9:30am-4pm
HISTORY/ANTHROPOLOGY/GAMES
What can toys or games tell you about the culture of the time in which they were created? The popularity of certain toys gives some indication of taste, and cultural priorities. The Pioneer Valley History Network’s Spring gathering will concentrate on the theme, “Toys in the Attic,” exploring historical topics through toys, picture books, and games. At 9:30am, the day will begin with a business meeting. Then historians will discuss Milton Bradley, picture book art, and various old toys and games. Visit the Pioneer Valley History Network’s website to see the full schedule of talks to take place at Storrowton Village, and to register. 413-205-5051. 1305 Memorial Ave, West Springfield, MA. ($)

Monday, May 2, 5pm
LITERACY/CRAFTS
The Harry Potter series has been enchanting children, teens, and adults since the mid 90s. J.K. Rowling’s books appeal strongly to otherwise reluctant readers, and are rare in that the books become more challenging as the characters age. Participants between the ages of ten and eighteen are invited to the Sunderland Public Library to decorate mugs in a Harry Potter themed way. 413- 665-2642. 20 School Street, Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Monday, May 2, 6:30pm
YOUTH THEATER
Performing music, theater, or comedy in front of a supportive audience and as part of a team can help teenagers and children achieve high self-esteem and a sense of belonging. Theater allows actors to express themselves creatively through various characters, while becoming more in-tune to emotions through their performance training. The skill to project your voice and articulate your words is useful for many career paths. The Drama Studio provides youth with the opportunity to intensively study theater through after school programs and vacation camps. Come to their Cabaret performance to witness a showcase of acting, comedy, stage combat, dance and musical theatre. 413-739-1983. 41 Oakland Street, Springfield, MA. ($. <$ Students.)

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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-11am – QIGONG: Qigong is a form of mindful, light exercise. People of all levels of experience and ability are welcome to attend free classes every monday at the Sunderland Public Library 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, 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, May 3, 2016

Tuesday, May 3, 8am-4pm
ACTS OF KINDNESS/COMMUNITY WALK
The Walk for Massachusetts Children is a fundraising event which supports the overarching goal of getting adults and families to volunteer their time in order to support a child in their community. The ten day walk covers 136 miles and 26 towns. The walks raise money for family centers, child bereavement centers, and support systems for homeless children. On Tuesday, May 3, the walk will begin in Belchertown and end in Northampton. For more information, visit the Walk for MA Children website. You are invited to participate for all or some of the day. Please register by emailing scranewalks@gmail.com. 413-265-8217. Federal Street, Belchertown, MA. (VOLUNTEER/DONATION)

Tuesday, May 3, 4pm
HISTORY/CARTOGRAPHY
Like fine art, ancient maps attract avid collectors as well as thieves. In his 2014 book, The Map Thief, author Michael Blanding tells the story of once-reputable map dealer E. Forbes Smiley. His book delves into the history of New World cartography as well as modern obsession and attachment to rare objects. You can hear him discuss his book at Williams College, and ask questions in the post-presentation discussion. This talk will take place in the Sawyer Library Archives Chapin Instruction Room 452. 26 Hopkins Hall Drive, Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, May 3, 4pm-5pm
HORTICULTURE/NUTRITION
Getting children involved in obtaining and preparing the foods they eat can have a positive impact on dietary choices. Gardening and farming make vegetables fun, and instill in children the importance of understanding where food comes from. Families with children ages 5-12 are invited to attend a series of workshops on gardening and nutrition at New Lands Farm. Each week will cover a different topic, and participants will get to work in a community garden plot. Call 413-787-0725 x422 for more information. 334 Birnie Avenue, West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, May 3, 5:45pm-8pm
CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
The Hilltown Community Development Center works towards improving the community through housing and transportation projects, small business assistance, and various community engagement initiatives. You can learn about the work they have already done at their 2016 annual meeting. Board members will be elected between 7:45 and 8pm. Have your say in the future of your community! This event is open to everyone and handicap accessible. Please call 413-296-4536 ext. 110 to RSVP. Chesterfield Senior/Community Center. 400 Main Road, Chesterfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, May 3, 6:00pm-7:30pm
PARENTING/PSYCHOLOGY
Parenting requires unprecedented feats of empathy in order to relate to the range of emotions children experience on a daily basis. Sometimes these emotions are hard to relate to and lead to difficult behaviors. Getting at the root of the issue can help prevent or de-escalate outbursts in the future. Parents at the Belchertown Family Center will discuss these strategies in their workshop, “Why Do They Do That?!” 413-283-7594. 720 Franklin Street, Belchertown, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, May 3, 6:30pm
ECOLOGY/ZOOLOGY
When we think of worms, earthworms may come to mind, given that they are common and easy to spot. But worms live in almost all parts of the world including marine and freshwater habitats. You can learn about the freshwater worms living in the Connecticut river in this presentation at the Northfield Public Library. 413-498-2455. 115 Main St, Northfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, May 3, 6:30pm
YOUTH THEATER
Performing music, theater, or comedy in front of a supportive audience and as part of a team can help teenagers and children achieve high self-esteem and a sense of belonging. Theater allows actors to express themselves creatively through various characters, while becoming more in-tune to emotions through their performance training. The skill to project your voice and articulate your words is useful for many career paths. The Drama Studio provides youth with the opportunity to intensively study theater through after school programs and vacation camps. Come to their Cabaret performance to witness a showcase of acting, comedy, stage combat, dance and musical theatre. 413-739-1983. 41 Oakland Street, Springfield, MA. ($. <$ Students.)

Tuesday, May 3, 6:30pm
MUSIC STUDIES/CHORUS
The Spring Choral Concert of the Northampton Community Music Center will feature vocal music from high definition, Ku’umba Women’s Choir, and Berkshire Hills Music Academy Chorus. The concert will take place in Edwards Church of Northampton. 413-585-0001. 297 Main Street, Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, May 3, 6:30pm
FAMILY MUSIC/STORYTELLING
Musician and storyteller Andrew Rangell will perform Babar the Elephant, a concert based on the 1989 French Canadian children’s series, at Immanuel Lutheran Church. Families can enjoy an engaging story as well as renowned piano playing. 867 North Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, May 3, 6:30pm
HEALTH/PSYCHOLOGY
It can be useful to look at health from a gendered perspective. Heart disease, for example, is the number one cause of death in the United States for both women and men, yet women experience different heart attack symptoms than men do. Dr. Patricia Martin, clinical psychologist and author of The Other Couch: Discovering Women’s Wisdom in Therapy will be discussing women’s mental and physical health at the Richard Salter Storrs Library. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street, Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, May 3, 7pm
LITERACY/WAR STUDIES
War is a topic which has made its way into all literary and artistic genres, from Civil War photography and poetry to modern day graphic novels and performance art. People perceive of and discuss war from a deeply personal standpoint, as well as a political one. Jim Hicks will be discussing his book, Lessons from Sarajevo: A War Stories Primer, at the Jones library. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, May 3, 7pm
FOOD SECURITY/FILM STUDIES
The 2014 documentary, Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story (not rated) explores why Americans throw away huge amounts of food. Food waste occurs on an individual basis through poor planning and overly strict adherence to expiration dates. It also occurs on a large scale basis by grocery stores. The filmmakers will show you the journey food takes to the trash can, with perspectives from farmers, retailers, inspiring organizations, and consumers. This screening at Amherst Cinema will also feature a discussion led by Congressman Jim McGovern, Food Bank of Western Massachusetts Executive Director Andrew Morehouse, and Gideon Porth of Atlas Farms. 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street, Amherst, MA. (<$)

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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, May 4, 2016

Wednesday, May 4, 7am-9am
ORNITHOLOGY/GUIDED NATURE HIKE
Do you love to watch birds? Can you name some of the species that are frequently found visiting backyard birdfeeders? Would you like to know more, or to simply enjoy some time connecting to nature? Bird watching is a wonderful way to get outdoors early in the morning while the world is especially peaceful. Jonathan Pierce, caretaker of the Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, runs this weekly bird walk for beginning and advanced birders. Learn new bird species as you explore the sanctuary. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, May 4, 8am-6pm
SERVICE-BASED LEARNING/WALK
The Walk for Massachusetts Children is a fundraising event which supports the overarching goal of getting adults and families to volunteer their time in order to support a child in their community. The ten day walk covers 136 miles and 26 towns. The walks raise money for family centers, child bereavement centers, and support systems for homeless children. On Wednesday, May 4, the walk will begin in Northampton and end in Haydenville. For more information, visit the Walk for MA Children website. You are invited to participate for all or some of the day. Please register by emailing scranewalks@gmail.com. 413-265-8217. Edward’s Church. 297 Main Street, Northampton, MA. (VOLUNTEER/DONATION)

Wednesday, May 4, 9am-4pm
NATURE STUDIES
Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary’s trails cover forests, meadows, and wetlands, allowing visitors to enjoy scenic views and learn about local wildlife. Berkshire residents can enjoy free admission on the first Wednesday of the month! Registration is not required. Please bring valid ID. 413-637-0320. 472 W Mountain Road, Lenox, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, May 4, 9am-11am
LAW/HISTORY
Why do the police “read citizens their rights” when arresting them? The practice of informing citizens of their right to remain silent stems from a U.S. Supreme court decision in the case Miranda vs. Arizona, in 1966. For its Annual Law Day event, The Franklin County Bar Association and the Northwestern District Attorney will be exploring this case in detail at Greenfield Community College. For more information contact Christine Baronas at 413-773-9839. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, May 4, 11am-5pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES
North Adams residents: One of the world’s premier centers for making and showing the best modern art is right in your backyard, and today it’s free. See something new in one of the temporary exhibitions or revisit your favorite permanent works at MASS MoCA on the 4th of the month, when it’s free for 01247 residents. Bring an official ID or utility bill with your address on it. 413-662-2111. 1040 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, May 4, 3pm
OCEANOGRAPHY
Although more than half of planet Earth is comprised of oceans, they remain largely an unexplored mystery to humans. Deep sea exploration has made large strides in recent years, revealing a diverse and previously unknown biota. You can learn a little of what we know, and don’t know, about deep oceans from oceanographer David Gallo’s talk at the Berkshire Museum. His presentation, “Deep Ocean, Deep Secrets: What Do the Oceans Mean to Us?” is included with regular museum admission. Seating is limited; please call 413-443-7171 ext. 360 to reserve your seat. 39 South Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($. Under 18 <$. Under 3 FREE)

Wednesday, May 4, 5pm
CRAFTS
Star Wars has been a pop culture sensation for decades, spanning generations. If you know a teenager who loves Star Wars, you can use their fandom to encourage their participation in a craft, and possibly gardening! Participants between the ages of ten and eighteen are invited to the Sunderland Public Library to decorate Flower Pots to resemble their favorite Star Wars character. 413- 665-2642. 20 School Street, Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, May 4, 5:30pm-6pm
FILM STUDIES
The Star Wars saga has captured die-hard fans for generations since it first screened in May 1977. The film may be modern in some of its concepts, but the core of the plot is a classic mythological tale. The hero must go on a dangerous quest to fulfill his destiny, overcome obstacles and discover his true self. The Star Wars series can be an entry point for understanding the tradition of mythological storytelling and its cultural purpose. Star Wars 5″>fans of all ages are invited to the Westfield Athenaeum to screen the 2015 film Star Wars: The Force Awakens (PG-13) and engage in crafts and other activities. 413-568-7833. 6 Elm Street, Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, May 4, 6pm
HORTICULTURE/GARDENING
Gardener and author Pat Leuchtman has educated readers about gardening through her newspaper column, website, and books. She documents her own experiences with gardening through writing and photographs. This information can help others identify plants and understand how to effectively grow them. She will be speaking about perennial gardening and sustainable roses at the Greenfield Public Library 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street, Greenfield, Ma. (FREE)

Wednesday, May 4, 6:30pm
MUSIC STUDIES/MANDOLIN
Are you a beginner mandolin player? Bring your mandolin to the Storrs Library for this three part series of mandolin lessons! For those who don’t know, the mandolin is a string instrument in the lute family. This instrument originated in Italy. In the United States it is often utilized to play folk, celtic or bluegrass music. One Wednesday a month, April 6, May 4th and June 1st, join other beginners as you grow into more knowledgeable and skilled musicians together. Seth Roberts of The Blueberry Hill Boys will be running these sessions. Email questions to: asethroberts@gmail.com. 413- 565-4181. 693 Longmeadow St, Longmeadow, 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, May 5, 2016

Thursday, May 5, 8am-3:30pm
SERVICE-BASED LEARNING/WALK
The Walk for Massachusetts Children is a fundraising event which supports the overarching goal of getting adults and families to volunteer their time in order to support a child in their community. The ten day walk covers 136 miles and 26 towns. The walks raise money for family centers, child bereavement centers, and support systems for homeless children. On Thursday, May 5, the walk will begin in Goshen and end in Cummington. For more information, visit the Walk for MA Children website. You are invited to participate for all or some of the day. Please register by emailing scranewalks@gmail.com. 413-265-8217. Gather at the Goshen Public Library. 42 Main Street, Goshen, MA. (VOLUNTEER/DONATION)

Thursday, May 5, 8:30am-4pm
AROMACHOLOGY/BOTANY
What are perfumes made of? It depends on the scent the perfume creators want. Flowers and other plants will create an Earthy, floral fragrance. Other natural ingredients could include spices, fruit, wood, roots, or resins. Alcohol often serves as a base. You can learn about the use of plant scents in this Smith College exhibit in the Lyman Conservatory. You will be able to sample a French fragrance, Datura Noir. This exhibit will be open daily from 8:30am-4pm until May 31st. College Lane, Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, May 5, 3pm-4pm
TEAMWORK/LITERATURE
Are you a Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, or Slytherin? The sorting of characters into houses in Harry Potter teaches readers about loyalty and teamwork. Harry Potter fans between the ages of 12 and 18 are invited to work together with other members of their house, in competition for the House Cup, at the Westfield Athenaeum. 413-568-7833. 6 Elm Street, Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, May 5, 5:30pm-8pm
PSYCHOLOGY/PARENTING
In honor of Children’s Mental Health Week, adult and children’s psychiatrist Dr. Ned Hallowell will be speaking on the topic of emotional and learning challenges in children. Hallowell has taught at Harvard Medical School and published books about children’s anxiety. He is also a leading authority on ADHD. Parents, educators, and anyone interested in learning about these topics of psychology and neuroscience will likely find the information interesting and informative. Current and former members of The Support Network will receive free admission. Log Cabin. 500 Easthampton Road, Holyoke MA. ($$)

Thursday, May 5, 6pm-8pm
PARENTING
Parents take a good deal of pride, and shame, in the actions of their children. This can make it difficult to openly discuss parental challenges and difficult decisions. But 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, May 5, 6pm-8pm
ART STUDIES/LIFELONG LEARNERS
Most children spend a good deal of time coloring for fun, but most adults who are not professional artists give up the hobby. No matter your artistic ability, creating art is a skill like any other, and you can improve with help. More importantly, creating art is a relaxing form of self expression. Experts and novices alike are invited to the Russell Public Library to learn pastel techniques and create a still life work with artist and teacher Gregory Maichack. This event will fill up quickly. Please register by calling 413-862-6221. 162 Main Street, Russell, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, May 5, 7pm
MUSIC STUDIES
Amherst College Department of Music’s annual “Concertofest” will showcase various Senior instrumentalists and orchestra leaders performing some of their best work. Come witness the culmination of years of effort as these students perform music from composers such as Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms. You will hear violins, horns, and more. Buckley Recital Hall in the Arms Music Center. 53 College Street, Amherst, MA. ($. Seniors <$. Children 12 and under and five college students with ID FREE)

Thursday, May 5, 7pm
HISTORY/MUSIC STUDIES
The narrative nature of folk music makes it an interesting vehicle for learning about culture and history. Adam Miller is a storyteller, musician, and expert on American folksongs and folklore. He will be showcasing his interactive, musical performance, “Singing through History!” at the Holyoke Public Library. His performance can be easily connected to some of the folk tales available at the library, for those who wish to continue exploring this topic in the future. 413-420-8101. 250 Chestnut Street, Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, May 5, 7:30pm
YOUTH THEATER/BROADWAY MUSICAL
With its musical roots in hip-hop and salsa, In The Heights took audiences by storm when it hit Broadway in 2008. This play tells the story of residents in Washington Heights, a neighborhood in Upper Manhattan, as they struggle to make lives for themselves despite poverty, oppression, and gentrification. To help the student cast better understand the origin of this production, Williston theater director Emily Ditkovski took her students to New York City in January to learn about the play’s development first hand, while having lunch with members of the original Broadway cast! The students then toured Washington Heights. Preparing for this play has been a journey of discovery for these students. The performances are the result of extensive study and cultural immersion, giving this show a unique and vibrant authenticity. In The Heights is said to be a beautiful celebration of family, love, and the resilience of the human spirit. Performances will be held at The Williston Northampton Theater. 413-529-3000. 19 Payson Avenue, Easthampton, MA. ($)

Thursday, May 5, 7:30pm-9:30pm
MUSIC STUDIES/PERCUSSION
Stee lpan drums are barrel shaped instruments built from sheet metal. They can cover different octave ranges depending on their design. Steel pans originated in Trinidad and Tobago and have existed for less than 150 years (a relatively short time compared to many instruments). You can learn more about this type of instrument through presentation and performance of Steel Pan Jazz and Caribbean Rhythms. Ron Reid, faculty at Berklee College of Music, will perform with his Sunsteel Quartet and answer your questions. Gateway City Arts. 413-650-2670. 92 Race St, Holyoke, MA. (DONATION)

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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, May 6, 2016

Friday, May 6, 9am-4pm
SERVICE-BASED LEARNING/WALK
The Walk for Massachusetts Children is a fundraising event which supports the overarching goal of getting adults and families to volunteer their time in order to support a child in their community. The ten day walk covers 136 miles and 26 towns. The walks raise money for family centers, child bereavement centers, and support systems for homeless children. On Friday, May 6, the walk will begin in West Cummington and end in Dalton. For more information, visit the Walk for MA Children website. You are invited to participate for all or some of the day. Please register by emailing scranewalks@gmail.com. 413-265-8217. Westfield Brook, West Cummington, MA. (VOLUNTEER/DONATION)

Friday, May 6, 2:30pm-3:30pm
S.T.E.M./ASTRONOMY
Your child can participate in a junior engineering, LEGO project, and learn about astronomy at the same time! Participants at the Northfield Public Library will be combining their efforts to create a space station to display. Attendees will also make their own constellations and star stories. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street, Northfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, May 6, 3pm-8pm
ART STUDIES
Where art is located or performed may influence the way we think about it. Artwork preserved in a temperature-controlled gallery may affect viewers differently than art placed outdoors. Mobile Art Boxes mix elements of both gallery and outdoor artworks. These works of art are created in and around DIY Mobile Boxes, 8’x8’x16’ storage units. As such, they are partially enclosed, yet mobile. The Mobile Art Boxes at Florence Night Out 2016 will be placed all over downtown Florence, allowing for the chance of being stumbled upon by accident as well as sought out by attendees of the event. Each box will contain the work of a single artist, using experimental installation, video, sculpture, painting, dancing, graffiti and/or sound performance. Connect with Florence community members as you explore these unique works of art. For a complete schedule, please visit the Florence Night Out website. Contact Joshua Braska at 413-330-5462 with any questions. Florence, MA. (FREE)

Friday, May 6, 4pm and 7 pm
FILM STUDIES/MUSEUM ADVENTURES
Animated films can be created through a variety of artistic techniques, including hand-drawn, paint on glass, stop-motion, and computer-generated. The eleven, international short films being screened at the Berkshire Museum demonstrate each of these artistic techniques. Documentary portraits will also discuss the creative process of directors. Visit the exhibitions and attend this screening for a full day of artistic exploration. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($. Under 18 <$. Under 3 FREE)

Friday, May 6, 5:15pm-6:30pm
INCLUSION/MUSIC/COMMUNITY MEAL
Join other families with kids ages 0-6 to welcome the Sabbath at Tot Shabbat, offered by Beit Ahavah Reform Synagogue. The kids enjoy music and activities led by Marlene Rachelle and Rabbi Riqi Kosovske, then share a veggie potluck dinner. Adults socialize and relax. Interfaith and GLBTQ families, nursing moms, babies and siblings of all ages, grandparents and special people, new members, first-timers, and friends all welcome! 413-587-3770. 130 Pine Street, Florence, MA. (FREE)

Friday, May 6, 7pm-9pm
COMMUNITY MUSIC/PERCUSSION
Hand drums and other percussion instruments are perfect for highly inclusive music sessions. Playing drums does not require any melodic knowledge, just rhythm. All are invited to a community drum and dance night at Berkcirque. Bring hand drums if you have them. 413-429-4215. 115 Gas House Lane, Great Barrington, MA. (DONATION)

Friday, May 6, 7:30pm
YOUTH THEATER/BROADWAY MUSICAL
With its musical roots in hip-hop and salsa, In The Heights took audiences by storm when it hit Broadway in 2008. This play tells the story of residents in Washington Heights, a neighborhood in Upper Manhattan, as they struggle to make lives for themselves despite poverty, oppression, and gentrification. To help the student cast better understand the origin of this production, Williston theater director Emily Ditkovski took her students to New York City in January to learn about the play’s development first hand, while having lunch with members of the original Broadway cast! The students then toured Washington Heights. Preparing for this play has been a journey of discovery for these students. The performances are the result of extensive study and cultural immersion, giving this show a unique and vibrant authenticity. In The Heights is said to be a beautiful celebration of family, love, and the resilience of the human spirit. Performances will be held at The Williston Northampton Theater. 413-529-3000. 19 Payson Avenue, Easthampton, MA. ($)

Friday, May 6, 8pm
HISTORY/THEATER:
Seven Devils and a French Nun is a historical piece based on the true story of Jeanne des Anges, a 17th-century hunchback nun who accused a renegade priest of possessing her with seven devils. Multiple exorcisms, a burning, and a major miracle later, Jeanne became a living saint, captivating all of France during her lifetime. Performing in the tradition of a bouffon clown, a technique made famous by Sasha Baron Cohen’s “Borat” character, Carine Montbertrand portrays Jeanne and each of the devils who possessed her in a one-woman bravura performance. Seven Devils and a French Nun is the culmination of a two-year process of improvisation and research, resulting in a brilliantly intricate and humorous story of historical proportions! Tickets are free, but reservations are recommended by calling 413-542-2277. Performances will be held in Studio 3, Webster Hall (Room G19) at Amherst College, 200 South Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

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

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

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Hilltown Families’ list of Weekly Suggested Events is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Belchertown, Buckland, Chicopee, Colrain, Cummington, Deerfield, Goshen, Hadley, Heath, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne, Southampton, Sunderland, Westhampton and Worthington Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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