Suggested Events for May 14th-20th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Hilltown Families has greatly helped us learn about resources and activities around the Pioneer Valley and ways to get involved in the local community. I look forward to receiving the newsletter each week in order to see what’s coming up that we can participate in! Many things that we do and try out have been because of Hilltown Families – it’s an invaluable resource for people new to the area! Thank you so much!” Lexie Mullins (Hadley, MA)

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

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

Summer Camps in Western MA

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

Home School

Learn Organically with Oak Meadow and Save Mother’s Day to Memorial Day! From May 8–30, take 15% off their flexible, creative homeschooling curriculum for kindergarten to grade 12, and 5% off new enrollments in their teacher-supported, distance learning school. The nature-based curriculum fosters critical thinking and intellectual development through hands-on activities and interdisciplinary projects. High school students can take charge of their own learning thanks to options such as life experience credit, independent study, and dual enrollment. Visit their website to save in their bookstore or to apply for enrollment. It’s not too early to plan ahead. Ready for a change now? You can start any time.

May 15

Join Tom Angleberger, author of the Origami Yoda series, and Cece Bell, author of the 2015 Newbery Honor Book El Deafo, this Sunday, May 15 at 1pm at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA, as they talk about their books, discuss their writing and illustration process, and answer questions. Book signing to follow program. Free with Museum Admission. For more information, contact The Carle at 413-559- 6300 or email info@carlemuseum.org. 125 W. Bay Road. www.carlemuseum.org

May 14

On Saturday, May 14, the Pride continues, as the Montessori School of Northampton will host a family-friendly party on its playground at 51 Bates Street. The party, delayed due to rain, will feature free snacks and soft drinks, games and crafts, and kid-friendly dance music. All families with children are welcome. “MSN has LGBT families in every class,” explains parent and board member Sue Ashman. “And the school is wonderfully inclusive of queer parents and gender-nonconforming kids. So it only made sense for us to celebrate that in our Montessori home, and invite all families to join us.” The party will run from 10am-1pm, and the school will be open for tours to interested families as well. 413-586-4538. northamptonmontessori.org

May 16

Join the Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley on Monday, May 16th, at 5:00 PM for a discussion of Springtime Adventures in fiction for middle grade readers (ages 8-12) with National Book Award-winning author Jeanne Birdsall and Bank Street Best Book Award-winning Susan Hill Long. They’ll have spring themed treats and activities, and the two authors will talk about their latest books, The Magic Mirror and The Penderwicks in Spring. Both books show their protagonists dealing with surprises, welcome and unwelcome, secrets, and all sorts of shenanigans, and both books are a riot of good fun, just in time for the spring season! This event is FREE and family-friendly!

May 22

Fast, Slow, Young, Old… Whole Children wants to take you on a Wild Goose Chase! The Wild Goose Chase to benefit Whole Children will be held at Look Park, on Sunday, May 22, from 10am-1:30pm, and is an inclusive family event for all ages. There will be race events, including chip-timed 5K and 1.2 mile races, as well as a slew of kids’ races. There will also be a carnival, featuring a free photo booth, balloon sculptures, horse-drawn wagon rides, music and live performances, food and drink, face painting, games, and prizes. The first 600 registered goose chasers will receive a free water bottle and Bueno Y Sano coupon. All kids’ race participants will receive medals. Head over to www.runreg.com/wildgoose to register now!


Child care available for Two year olds and Under-Twos! Nonotuck Community School is accepting applications for children who will be 15 months – 2+ years by September. Open from 7:30am-5:30pm and located in Northampton, Nonotuck has well-appointed classrooms, daily access to indoor and outdoor play spaces, an art studio, yoga instruction, gardening & more. Curriculum is play-based and inspired by progressive early childhood education theory. Nonotuck emphasizes community, emotional intelligence and resilience, and provides ample opportunities for cognitive, artistic, social, emotional, and physical development throughout the school day. A parent cooperative. Contact: Leslie@nonotuck.org or 413-586-5996 or visit www.nonotuck.org.

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

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


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
May 14-20, 2016

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

Donate Now Events Happening in the Hilltowns

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Ongoing Saturday Events

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

Saturday, May 14, 7am-9am
ORNITHOLOGY/NATURE STUDIES
Ornithology, the study of birds, is a fun way to learn about biology and environmental science. People interested in studying birds might want to learn how to identify the birds they see and hear, analyze their communication, observe their behavior, or learn about how they interact in their habitats. The most effective way to learn about birds is with a knowledgeable and passionate teacher. Pete McLean, education director at Book and Plow Farm, is running a four week, beginning bird watch workshop on May 7, 14, 21 and 28. No knowledge or skills are necessary. Participants can sign up for all four sessions, or sign up for individual sessions. For more information, visit The Hitchcock Center for the Environment website. Call 413-256-6006 to register. Workshops will take place at Book and Plow farm. 425 South East Street, Amherst, MA. ($$$)

Saturday, May 14, 7am-10am
ORNITHOLOGY/GUIDED HIKE
Lime Kiln Farm Wildlife Sanctuary’s “Through the Seasons” programs encourage nature lovers to visit the sanctuary and observe seasonal changes. This morning bird walk offers the chance to look and listen for migrating birds. 413-637-0320. 568 Silver Street, Sheffield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 14, 8am-11am
COMMUNITY MEAL
You can be a part of Springfield history by attending the (hopefully) World’s Largest Pancake Breakfast! This tradition began in 1976, during the country’s centennial celebration, when residents gathered together on Main Street for a community breakfast. The tradition continued as an attempt to beat the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest breakfast. This volunteer-based, community gathering takes place on May 14th in celebration of Springfield’s founding date. State Street to Bridge Street, Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 14, 8:30am-1pm
COLLABORATIVE CONSUMPTION/VOLUNTEER
Kids grow out of clothing so quickly, buying their clothing can put a strain on parents’ finances. You can help other parents, and support the Williamstown Elementary School PTO, by donating your clothing or time to their Children’s Clothing Sale. If you wish to donate gently used clothing such as items sportswear, swimwear, costumes, or shoes in sizes 0(infants) – 16 (teens), or maternity wear, please drop them off in donation bins in the front lobby of the school. If you want to help run the sale, please email wesclothingsale@gmail.com. Otherwise, come shop for gently used clothing at great prices! Everyone wins. The sale will take place in the the Williamstown Elementary School Cafeteria. 413- 458-5707. 115 Church Street, Williamstown, MA. (MARKET/SALE)

Saturday, May 14, 9am
SERVICE-BASED LEARNING/FOOD SECURITY
You can participate in a nationwide food drive, hosted by the National Association of Letter Carriers, simply by placing a plastic bag of non perishable food items in your mailbox before 9am on Saturday, May 14. If you live in Amherst, Belchertown, Pelham, Hadley, Sunderland or South Deerfield, your donation may be given to the Amherst Survival Center, to help local families! For more information including a list of highly requested items, visit the Survival Center website. Nationwide. (DONATION)

Saturday, May 14, 9am-3pm
COLLABORATIVE CONSUMPTION/LITERACY
Book sales help fund public libraries so they are able to provide programming, materials, museum passes, and much more. This Book, Plant, and Bake sale at the Sunderland Public Library will give community members the opportunity to support the library while they shop for plants for their garden or home. 413-665 2642. 20 School Street, Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 14, 9am-3:30pm
FOOD SECURITY/SERVICE-BASED LEARNING
According to the 2014 Status Report on Hunger in Massachusetts, the poverty rate in Massachusetts is the highest it has been since 1960, causing hundreds of thousands of households to be food insecure. If you’re between the ages of fourteen and nineteen, you’re invited to the Community Action Annual Youth Conference to learn more about food security and make a difference. A series of workshops to take place at Turners Falls High School will educate youth about hunger and the ways they can help. Please register on the Food Bank of Western MA website. 222 Turnpike Road, Montague, MA ($)

Saturday, May 14, 9:30am
LOCAL HISTORY/GUIDED TOUR
History is often more interesting when you can relate it to modern life. Walking tours help people situate historical events in the context of their towns and lives. Celebrate the Bicentennial year of Enfield by learning about the Quabbin, as well as the former Hanks Farm and Martindale Farm. On this walking tour, you will explore cellar holes near Hanks Meadow and old Webster Road. Participants will meet at the Town Hall Complex at 9:30 a.m. to carpool to site. This event is sponsored by the Pelham Historical Society. For more information call 413-695-1797. 820 Enfield Street, Enfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 14, 10am
LOCAL HISTORY/WOMEN’S HISTORY
Did you know that two of the most well-known female abolitionists and women’s rights activists, Sojourner Truth and Lydia Maria Child, lived in Florence, Massachusetts? Important education reform also began in Florence. Elizabeth Palmer Peabody helped to establish the first free kindergarten in this town. You can participate in a walking tour of Florence to learn more about these and other women’s rights activists who resided there. This event is sponsored by Historic Northampton. 413-584-6011. Meet at the Sojourner Truth Statue at the corner of Park and Pine streets in Florence, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 14, 10am-2pm
GEOLOGY/LOCAL HISTORY/GUIDED NATURE HIKE
Barton Cove, along the Connecticut river, is a habitat rich in Spring wildflowers and unusual geology. A naturalist, a local historian, and a geologist will team up for this guided nature hike, to teach you about Barton Cove in multidisciplinary ways. Please bring a lunch and water for this 2 mile hike along a forest trail. Register at the Greenfield Community College website. 413-775-1661. 82 French King Highway, Gill, MA. ($)

Saturday, May 14, 10am-12pm
MAKER SPACE/SKILLSHARING
Learn how to use a 3D printer and a CNC Router in this makerspace workshop at the Greenfield Public Library. Father and son Arthur and Peter Evans will demonstrate the use of these tools in this intergenerational, do-it-yourself collaboration. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. Call 413-772-1544 x5105 to sign-up. This program is designed for participants between the ages of eight and twelve and their caregivers. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 14, 10am-12pm
STEM/CODING
Scratch is a programming language and online community which allows you to create your own games and share them with the world. Scratch is relatively simple and intuitive, but allows users room to grow and learn the fundamental rules of programming. Anyone ages nine and up interested in learning how to code, or put their skills to use, is invited to the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center. To celebrate Holyoke Infrastructure Day as well as Scratch Day, participants will create an interactive map of Holyoke, complete with favorite local destinations. 100 Bigelow Street, Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 14, 10am-12pm
ANIMAL STUDIES/LITERACY
Sheep raising and woolcraft are integral to local history as well as a being a part of modern agricultural businesses across the pioneer valley. Learning about sheep can get kids interested in and connected to their communities. Young animal lovers and their caregivers are invited to the Sunderland Public Library for “Sheep in a Jeep!” a program which will integrate storytelling, crafts, and sheep! Paired with a reading of children’s book Sheep in a Jeep, attendees will get to pet real sheep, and sit in a real Jeep! 413-665 2642. 20 School Street, Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 14, 10am-1pm
DIVERSITY/CREATIVE FREE PLAY
A study published in the March issue of Pediatrics found that transgender children whose parents support their identities end up no more or less likely to suffer from depression than cis-gender adults. This is strikingly different from average statistics on transgender adults, who report far higher levels of anxiety and depression than cis-gendered people. Parental support makes a big difference! Want to encourage your children to respect and appreciate diversity? The Montessori School of Northampton will be hosting a family-friendly celebration, rescheduled from last week’s post Northampton Pride Parade. Bring your kids of all ages to enjoy games, crafts, and access to a playground. 413-586-4538. 51 Bates Street, Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 14, 10am-1pm
SKILLSHARING/LOCAL HISTORY
Do you ever have fires in your fireplace or backyard? How do you start them? Fire-building used to be a necessary and common skill. Come to The Mission House to learn how to build a fire without matches. The workshop leader will demonstrate tools and techniques used by Native Americans and white settlers living in the Berkshires. This workshop is appropriate for children ages 6 and up, with an adult. Call 413-298-3239, ext. 3013 to register. 19 Main Street, Stockbridge, MA. ($)

Saturday, May 14, 10am-1pm
COLLABORATIVE CONSUMPTION
The Hilltown Seed Saving Network is holding its fourth annual Spring Seed and Plant Exchange at the Community House. Bring unwanted plants and seeds to swap with others, and find the perfect plants to grow this season. Anyone who brings a plant or seeds will be eligible to win a $20 gift certificate for Fedco Seeds. You do not need to bring anything in order to participate. Experienced gardeners and seed savers will be present to answer questions. Bring the whole family and exchange gardening tips with neighbors and friends. 413-634-5013. 33 Main Street. Cummington, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 14, 10am-2pm
CULINARY ARTS/NATURE STUDIES
At the fourth annual Wild Food Walk and Luncheon, you can learn how to identify wild plants and learn about their medicinal and nutritional properties. Workshop leaders will explain uses of native as well as non-native plants including fiddleheads and ground elder. The learning will continue in the Bug Hill Farm kitchen with a cooking demonstration, and finally a meal utilizing wild ingredients. There will be gluten free options. Register on the Bug Hill Farm website. 413-628-3980. Ashfield, MA. ($$$. Children under twelve FREE)

Saturday, May 14, 10am-4pm
LITERACY/HISTORY/FILM
Shakespeare’s lasting popularity over hundreds of years may stem from his command of the English language, and the universal themes explored in his plays and poetry. You can introduce Shakespeare to the children in your life with the 10am screening of the 2011 film Gnomeo and Juliet. (Rated G). At 12:30, the 2010 adaptation of The Tempest (Rated PG-13) will play. The 2012 film Much Ado About Nothing (Rated PG-13) will round out the day at 3pm. Screenings will take place in the Woodbury Room of the Jones Library. 413-259-3223. Amherst, Ma. (FREE)

Saturday, May 14, 10:30am
EARLY LITERACY
There’s a lot more to building vocabulary and literacy skills than just reading. With very young children, their linguistic learning is strongly influenced by their overall exposure to words. Those words can take the form of talking, singing, and of course, reading. Come to the Granby Library for this Building Blocks for Early Learning Workshop where participants will be taught how to make the most of their reading time. Child care will be provided and participants will receive a free book! Please register by calling 413-467-3320. 297 East State Street. Granby, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 14, 10:30am
MAKER SPACE
The theme for this week’s Makers’ Club at the Westhampton Public Library is “hidden objects.” Participants will need to bring in small objects that they are willing to part with. These objects need to be between the size of a AA battery and a large chicken. Club members will then create objects which are not what they seem. Suggested ages are ten and up, but this event open to all. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 14, 10:30am-11:30am
POETRY/LOCAL HISTORY
Every May, around the anniversary of Emily Dickinson’s death (May 15 1886), the The Emily Dickinson Museum hosts a Poetry Walk, highlighting various downtown locations that were important to Emily Dickinson. This year’s walk will emphasize the influence William Shakespeare had on Dickinson’s writing. Poems will be read by volunteers from the audience. Arrive early in order to receive a poem to read. Please call 413-542-2947 or e-mail info@emilydickinsonmuseum.org with questions. 280 Main Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 14, 10:30am-11:30am
ZOOLOGY/ECOLOGY
Studying migration opens up new ways of understanding animal behavior and habitat. What do birds need in one area that causes them to move? This story hour at Great Falls Discovery Center will explore migration of birds, fish, and butterflies through crafts and activities. This event is for children between the ages of six and eight, with a caregiver. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 14, 10:30am-12pm
LOCAL HISTORY/CITY PLANNING
Want to learn more about the city of Springfield? Join city planner Susan Heller for a walking tour of downtown. The tour will begin in the welcome center of the Springfield Museums. City planners are experts on the ways in which architecture and infrastructure influence behavior. Heller will help you to see Springfield from a new perspective. 413-263-6800, ext. 318. 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA. (Museum members FREE. Non members <$)

Saturday, May 14, 11am-4pm
SERVICE-BASED LEARNING/PLANT AND SOIL SCIENCE
Invasive plant species thrive and spread to a degree that they begin to do harm to the biodiversity of their habitats. These species can be harmful to human health as they dominate an ecosystem in a dangerous way. Hardy Kiwi is a local invasive species which kills all other vegetation as it spreads. You can help remove Hardy Kiwi from the area around Burbank Park. Volunteers will meet at the boat launch. 413-429-6416. Lakeway Drive, Pittsfield, MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Saturday, May 14, 12pm-4pm
ASTRONOMY
How do astronomers predict events like the transit of Mercury with accuracy? In short, advanced mathematics. Astronomers draw from concepts of Physics, and use Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry and Calculus to make measurements of distances between objects in the sky, and predictions of when they will appear in various ways from Earth. You don’t need to know anything about mathematics to appreciate the beauty of the sky, however. Come to the Springfield Museums on astronomy day to engage in safe sunspot viewing, and see a collection of meteorites. There will be hands-on activities for all ages, information about how craters are formed on the moon, and a sensory bin for kids. 413-263-6800, ext. 318. 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA. ($. Ages 3-17 <$. Under 3 and museum members FREE)

Saturday, May 14, 12pm-4pm
MUSIC/PLACEMAKING
Montague’s Music Festival is more than just a celebration of local musicians. Bands and individuals invite neighbors into their homes, porches, or barns to hear them play, in a system of “reverse caroling.” Get to know your neighbors as you discover their musical talents! This is also a good opportunity to explore Montague on foot or bike. It is possible to drive between venues, although parking will be limited. Visit the Good Music Makes Good Neighbors Facebook page for more information. Montague, MA. (DONATION)

Saturday, May 14, 12:30-4pm
GRIEVING/LOSS
The Garden: A Center for Grieving Children and Teens—a program of Cooley-Dickinson VNA and Hospice, provides support to grieving young people and their families. The Garden will be holding a free workshop, Grieving the Death of a Child. This workshop will include a screening of the video “Helping Parents Grieve: finding new life after the death of a child.” This video was produced by Paraclete Press and features real stories about families whose child has died. Participants will engage in discussion and activities that connect to the themes in the video. Grieving the Death of a Child is for adults only. To RSVP, or for more information please call Shelly Bathe Lenn at 413-582-5312 or email: Shelly_Lenn@cooley-dickinson.org. 168 Industrial Drive, Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 14, 12pm-1:45am
MULTI GENRE MUSIC
Full-day concerts like Holyoke’s Western Massive are a great place to find out about local artists, listen to many different genres of music, and celebrate art in your community. This all ages, two day concert at Gateway City Arts will feature funk, rock, jam, electronic music, and more on indoor and outdoor stages. 413-650-2670. 92 Race Street, Holyoke, MA. ($$)

Saturday, May 14, 1pm-4pm
TEXTILE ARTS/LOCAL HISTORY
Have an heirloom quilt that you’d like to learn more about? The Massachusetts Quilt Documentation Project works toward preserving quilts and gathering information on the date of their creation, the fabrics used, and other historical information. Quilt owners can donate their quilts to this documentation project and contribute to historical preservation. Bring your quilt to The William Cullen Bryant Homestead from 1-4pm and you will receive documentation reports for $15 per quilt. In celebration of The Trustees’ 125th anniversary, quilts documented at 125 years old receive quilt documentation for FREE! If you want to learn more about the project, come by at 10am and observe Jane Crutchfield of the Massachusetts Quilt Documentation Project document the Bryant Homestead quilts.Pre-registration is recommended. 413-628-4485 x.3. 207 Bryant Road, Cummington, MA. ($-$$)

Saturday, May 14, 1pm-4pm
ART HISTORY/MUSEUM ADVENTURES
This Family Day at the Norman Rockwell Museum celebrates the 100th anniversary of Rockwell’s Saturday Evening Post cover, “Boy With Baby Carriage.” You and your family can see outdoor sculptures based on the image, listen to storytelling, hear gallery talks and enjoy refreshments. From 2pm to 4pm visitors are invited to draw in the galleries and on the lawn. To continue learning and engaging with Rockwell’s iconic artwork after you leave the museum, you can participate in a photo contest. To enter, follow the Norman Rockwell Museum on social media and post a photo of someone you know in a baby carriage using the hashtag #100yearoldbaby. A winning photo will be picked at random and will receive a $100 Amazon Gift Card and a Family Membership to the Norman Rockwell Museum. Full details can be found on the museum’s website. 413-298-4100. 9 Glendale Road, Stockbridge, MA. (Adults $. Children 6-18 <$. Children under 3 and museum members FREE)

Saturday, May 14, 2pm
LOCAL HISTORY/NATURAL HISTORY
The meadows in Northampton are an unusual space- used as farmland, a nature preserve, a recreational space, a place where suspicious packages are detonated, and more. In spite of the fascinating history and present use of the space, it often goes unnoticed even by Northampton residents. Naturalist and writer Laurie Sanders will be giving a talk on the meadows at Historic Northampton. She will discuss the many roles the land has played culturally and economically. This talk is an interesting supplement to the current exhibit “The Great Meadow: Natural and Cultural Histories of Northampton’s Meadows,” which explores the agricultural history of the space through contemporary art in the form of photographs and illustrations. Check out both for a full, interdisciplinary learning experience! 413-584-6011. 46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 14, 2pm-5pm
INTERGENERATIONAL/BICYCLING
Typically, bicycling attire for a modern American involves athletic wear and sneakers. But at the beginning of cycling history, during the early 19th century, cyclists wore their everyday clothing even when using bicycles for transport. You are encouraged to do the same at the 2nd Annual Spring Tweed Ride in Northampton. This event started in London 17 years ago and encouraged participants to dress up in nice clothing and go for a leisurely ride on vintage bicycles. The ride will begin at 2pm in the plaza behind Thorne’s Market, and will culminate in Look Park for an afternoon tea with light refreshments. Participants can register online for sliding scale amounts starting at $15. Kids ride free! This is a fun opportunity to dress up in fancy attire (if you wish) and get some exercise with your family. Northampton, MA. ($ – $$$)

Saturday, May 14, 2pm
YOUTH THEATER
Starlight’s Youth Theater presents the Tony-Award-winning Broadway musical version of Disney’s Into The Woods right here in our own backyard! This musical brings favorite fairy tale characters such as Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, and Jack and the Beanstalk to life. These characters set off to make their wishes come true but soon learn to be careful what they wish for as witches, giants and wolves loom. Come watch a talented cast of 70 youths, ages 10-18, from all over the Pioneer Valley. Starlight’s Youth Theatre is dedicated to the development of the child, using theater as a tool to build self-esteem, communication skills, and confidence. Performances will be held at The Academy of Music Theatre. 413-584-9032. 274 Main Street, Northampton, MA. ($$)

Saturday, May 14, 4:30pm
ORCHESTRAL MUSIC
Decades of research have revealed many neurological, educational, and social benefits to playing a musical instrument. Playing music can help your capacity for memory, improve time management and teamwork skills, and increase mathematical ability. Come celebrate the effort which Smith College students have made over several years of practicing music The Commencement Orchestra Concert in Sweeney Concert Hall will feature soloists from the graduating class. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, May 14, 5pm
COMMUNITY MEAL/PLACEMAKING
Explore various restaurants in downtown Buckland while supporting the Buckland Public Library. The evening will begin with appetizers at Old Parsonage, followed by dinner in the Griswold Room of the Buckland Public Library, and rounded off with dessert in Bird’s Nest B&B. Your support will be greatly appreciated, and you will have the chance to dine with friends, neighbors, and community members who also want to give back to their local library. 413-625-9412. Buckland, MA. ($$)

Saturday, May 14, 6pm
YOUTH THEATER/SHAKESPEARE
In Shakespeare’s play, the characters Romeo and Juliet are both young, making their story of feuding families and misfortune even more tragic. It seems fitting to see the play performed by a talented troupe of young actors, The Young Shakespeare Players East. Acting helps improve communication skills and confidence. Come lend your support for these rising stars. This performance will take place at Shea Theater. 413- 863-2281. 71 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

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Sunday, May 15, 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 15th, all day
ECOLOGY/BIOLOGY
Imagine going outside and counting all the species of birds, plants, reptiles, amphibians, and insects- all the living things you could find. Alone, this would be a draining exercise. But with help you could identify a lot of local species and learn a great deal about the biodiversity of your region. That’s exactly what will take place at The Hitchcock Center’s 17th Annual 2016 Biothon, a fundraiser for the Center’s environmental education programs. Teams will compete to identify the most species at specific sites sites for any time period (up to 24-hours) on Friday, May 13 – Sunday, May 15 or on Friday, June 3 – Sunday, June 5. Teams will choose their day, time, location, and what species to count. Visit the Hitchcock Center for the Environment website for more information. Amherst, MA

Sunday, May 15, 10am
POETRY/LOCAL HISTORY
In conjunction with the national celebration, 400 years of Shakespeare, The Emily Dickinson Museum is offering a new tour highlighting the influence Shakespeare had on Dickinson’s life and work. Participants will explore the Dickinson homestead and the grounds as they learn about these two famous poets in a context of local history. Please call 413-542-2947 or e-mail info@emilydickinsonmuseum.org with questions. Reservations are recommended. 280 Main Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, May 15, 10am-1pm
SERVICE-BASED LEARNING/PLANT AND SOIL SCIENCE
Invasive plant species thrive and spread to a degree that they begin to do harm to the biodiversity of their habitats. These species can be harmful to human health as they dominate their ecosystem in a dangerous way. You can learn about Garlic Mustard, a plant that is invasive in areas of New England, as you help eradicate it. You will also be able to taste this edible plant! For more information including where to meet, email brittany@kestreltrust.org. South Hadley, MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Sunday, May 15, 11am-5pm
ZOOLOGY/CITIZEN SCIENTIST
Not only are dogs great companions, they’re fascinating subjects of study, and can teach us a lot about ourselves – despite differences in genetics. By utilizing a range of resources, families can use dogs as a lens through which to explore service learning, citizen science, and the evolution of human society. Sunday, May 15th is the last day to explore the Springfield Museums exhibit “Wolf to Woof: The Story of Dogs,” which chronicles canine history all the way from its forefathers to its close connections with modern humans. Wolf to Woof is the largest and most comprehensive exhibit of its kind. It includes four separate themed sections that educate through artifacts, photo murals, multimedia displays, dioramas (including taxidermic specimens of wild canines), and models of familiar domesticated dog breeds. See it before it’s gone! 413-263-6800, ext. 318. 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA. ($. Ages 3-17 <$. Under 3 and museum members FREE)

Sunday, May 15, 12:30pm
FILM STUDIES/CULTURE STUDIES
Screening foreign films is an entertaining way to gain insight into a culture different from your own. The animated drama Only Yesterday was the highest grossing film in Japan when it was released in 1991. This animated film was targeted to adults, rather than children, but with its PG rating and animated style children may also be interested in seeing it. Only Yesterday tells the story of 27-year-old Taeko as she wrestles with her career and romantic life, with frequent flashbacks to her childhood in the late 1960s and 1970s. This film is being screened at Images Cinema as part of a foreign film series. All ages are welcome. 413-458-1039. 50 Spring Street, Williamstown, MA. (<$)

Sunday, May 15th, 1pm
LITERACY/ART
Comics and graphic novels are wonderful resources for reaching reluctant readers, and making a smooth transition from reading picture books to longer books. Tom Angleberger’s Origami Yoda series uses captivating art and copious Star Wars references to tell the story of a challenging adolescence. Similarly, Cece Bell’s 2015 Newbery Honor Book El Deafo entertains readers while simultaneously educating about the issues faced by deaf and hard of hearing youth. Both authors will be discussing their books and their creative process at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. They will also take questions from the audience, and sign copies of their books. 413-559-6300. 125 West Bay Road, Amherst, MA. (<$)

Sunday, May 15, 1pm-4:30pm
LOCAL HISTORY/MUSEUM ADVENTURES
The Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum is a resource for learning about local agricultural and political history through the exploration of the house and the grounds, as well as artifacts such as furniture, textiles, works of art, books, papers, and photographs. Exploring the Porter-Phelps-Huntington artifacts lends insight into 18th and 19th century agricultural life. The museum will reopen on May 15, 2016. Guided tours occur Saturday through Wednesday between the hours of 1pm and 4:30pm. 413- 584-4699. 130 River Drive, Hadley, MA. (<$)

Sunday, May 15, 1:30pm
THEATER/HISTORY
Tony award winning play, The Audience, is an enthralling story of British politics and history. London’s National Theatre’s performance stars Helen Miren as Queen Elizabeth II, and delves into the highly secretive meetings between the Queen and each of her twelve Prime Ministers. Come to the Castle Street Café at 1:30pm for a pre-broadcast Harney Tea tasting, or arrive at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center at 3pm just for the broadcast. 413-528-0100. 14 Castle Street, Great Barrington, MA. (<$ for Tea. $ for Broadcast. $$ for both.)

Sunday, May 15, 2pm
FILM STUDIES/JEWISH CULTURE
The 2016 film Art and Heart: The World of Isaiah Sheffer explores the life and impact of this actor, director, playwright, and singer who is widely known as the voice of Selected Shorts. During this film screening at the Yiddish Book Center, the film’s director Catherine Tambini will be present, along with Sheffer’s wife Ethel and daughter Susannah. Come learn about Jewish history and culture through primary resources. 413-256-4900. 1021 West Street, Amherst, MA. ($)

Sunday, May 15, 2pm
LOCAL HISTORY/WOMEN’S HISTORY
Studying Northampton’s tea rooms provides insight into local history and women’s history. These venues, primary run by women, were common in the first half of the twentieth century. Smith College students and local (often women’s) clubs were frequent patrons. Northampton resident and social historian Jan Whitaker will present an illustrated talk on the topic, followed by tea, at Historic Northampton. 46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, May 15, 2:30-4:30pm
FIBER ARTS
This meeting of Hands Across the Valley Quilters Guild will feature a showcase of fiber works. Families are invited to take a tour and get ideas for projects to work on together. Feel free to bring cameras. Project ideas will range from activities for pre-schoolers through to more challenging activities for teenagers. University Drive, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, May 15, 10am-5pm
LITERACY/ART STUDIES
One way to learn about art is by experiencing it- visiting galleries or making art yourself. Art textbooks and catalogues of artwork allow you to continue your learning outside of the gallery or the studio. The Clark Art Institute is hosting a book sale, where you can find books about artists, art history, architecture, photography, gardening, decorative arts, and other illustrated topics. There will be books available for all ages and artistic tastes. At 3pm, the museum will host a talk from their Interim Curator of Paintings and Sculpture, Lara Yeager-Crasselt. She will discuss her book, Michael Sweerts (1618–1664): Shaping the Artist and the Academy in Rome and Brussels. You’re invited to attend the talk and the book sale, for a multi-faceted learning experience. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street, Williamstown, MA. (FREE/SALE)

Sunday, May 15, 3:30pm-5:30pm
ISRAELI INDEPENDENCE DAY/ YOM HA’ATZMAUT
Yom Ha’Atzmaut is a celebration of Israel’s independence. Families will be celebrating at the Springfield Jewish Community Center with a picnic of Israeli-style kosher foods, and Israeli dancing! Connect to your Jewish culture and learn more about Israel at the same time. Please RSVP by calling 413-739-4715. 1160 Dickinson Street, Springfield, MA. ($)

Sunday, May 15, 4pm
LITERACY/PHILOSOPHY
Philosophers use logic and rhetorical skills to argue in favor of their views on the universe, usually doing so in the written form. Studying philosophy can leave the student with more questions than answers as various philosophers argue opposing viewpoints. Daniel Klein’s book, Every Time I Find the Meaning of Life, They Change It: Wisdom of the Great Philosophers on How to Live, provides humorous insight into this process while also providing a crash course in the history of philosophy. Join Klein at the Stockbridge Public Library as he discusses his book and signs copies. 413- 298-5501. 46 Main Street, Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, May 15, 4pm-5:30pm
PARENTING
Early school years can be a challenge for both parents and kids. New behavioral problems may arise in the school environment which do not exist at home. Parents and teachers need to work together to handle these issues. Jonathan Schwab, M.D. and Sharon Saline, Psy.D., will be discussing preschool behavioral problems in this free workshop at Northampton Area Pediatrics. Space is limited. RSVP by emailing alok@napeds.com or calling 413-517-2226. 193 Locust Street, Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, May 15, 6pm
YOUTH THEATER/SHAKESPEARE
In Shakespeare’s play, the characters Romeo and Juliet are both young, making their story of feuding families and misfortune even more tragic. It seems fitting to see the play performed by a talented troupe of young actors, The Young Shakespeare Players East. Acting helps improve communication skills and confidence. Come lend your support for these rising stars. This performance will take place at Shea Theater. 413- 863-2281. 71 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

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Monday, May 16, 2016

Monday May 16, 2pm
ART STUDIES/ELDER CARE
The Clark Art Institute invites persons with dementia and their caregivers to a free gallery talk! Groups are welcome as well as pairs. The Clark, which is both an art museum and a center for research and education, is closed on Mondays, providing a safe and private atmosphere for this tour. Specially trained docents will guide participants in an open-ended conversation about art. Through this program, the museum staff seek to encourage self-expression and a positive social experience for people with dementia and the people who love and care for them. 413-458-2303. 225 South St., Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Monday, May 16, 5pm
LITERACY/WRITING
Middle grade books, those written for readers roughly between the ages eight to twelve, are a wonderful resource for kids. Authors who write books specifically for children must appeal to children’s interests, their vocabulary level, and their maturity level. Middle grade books are typically safe worlds where the characters may encounter some danger, but they will come out of it okay. National Book Award-winning author Jeanne Birdsall and Bank Street Best Book Award-winning author Susan Hill Long will be discussing their latest middle grade books, The Magic Mirror, and The Penderwicks. Come to the Odyssey Bookshop for a discussion of these books. This all ages event may interest middle grade readers as well as their parents. Children’s book writers are also welcome to come learn from two experienced authors. 413-534-7307. 9 College Street, South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Monday, May 16, 6pm-7pm
LITERACY/STORYTIME
Reading before bed is a great way for kids, and adults, to relax and fall asleep more easily. Your child is invited to a special, pajama storytime at the Westfield Athenaeum. Unwind at the end of the day as you listen to a story with other families. Bring your favorite stuffed animal! 413-568-7833. 6 Elm Street, Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Monday, May 16, 6:30pm
STEM/COMPUTER BASICS
The Storrs Library has been supporting community members who wish to boost their technological skills, with tech workshops on Monday evenings. On May 16th, the workshop leader will go over the basics for using Twitter, a social media platform used by businesses, organizations, and individuals to spread important news, events, and information. Call the reference desk at 413-565-4181 ext. 1620 to register. 413-565-4181. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

Monday, May 16, 7pm
FILM STUDIES/CULTURE STUDIES
Screening foreign films is an entertaining way to gain insight into a culture different from your own. The animated drama Only Yesterday was the highest grossing film in Japan when it was released in 1991. This animated film was targeted to adults, rather than children, but with its PG rating and animated style children may also be interested in seeing it. Only Yesterday tells the story of 27-year-old Taeko as she wrestles with her career and romantic life, with frequent flashbacks to her childhood in the late 1960s and 1970s. This film is being screened at Images Cinema as part of a foreign film series. All ages are welcome. 413-458-1039. 50 Spring Street, Williamstown, MA. (<$)

Monday, May 16, 7pm
MUSIC STUDIES/CHORAL MUSIC
Northern Harmony, a shifting group of musicians which was established in 1993, combines traditional choral sounds with world music for a stunning result. Members of the group have studied music from South Africa, Bulgaria, Corsica and Caucasus Georgia. This group of local musicians will be performing in the West Cummington Church. 27 West Main Street, Cummington, MA. (DONATION)

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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)
  • 12pm-2pm – WRITING: Any writer looking for a place to work is welcome to use The LeVanway Meeting Room of the Greenfield Public Library Monday through Friday. Bring a lunch for this self-directed writing time with support from local writers. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 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)
  • 2pm-5pm – WRITING/WORK SPACE: Any local business person or telecommuter is welcome to use the Meeting Room of the Greenfield Public Library Mondays and Fridays, as a quiet workspace. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, 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 17, 2016

Tuesday, May 17, 1pm-3pm
FIBER ARTS
Do you enjoy fiber arts such as knitting or felting? Come to the Lenox Community Center and learn to make decorative spheres or bowls out of yarn, twine, and paper. These can be used as table centerpieces, hung from ceilings, given as gifts, you name it! This relatively simple craft should make for a relaxing learning experience. 413-637-5530. 65 Walker Street, Lenox, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, May 17, 3pm and 6pm
FILM STUDIES
The 2015 film The Lady in the Van (PG-13) draws from the true story of an elderly woman who lived in a van for 15 years. This British comedy-drama was highly well-received from critics and audiences. In a culture of films which focus on young people, viewers may find it refreshing to see an elderly protagonist in a popular film. You can see this movie for yourself at the Whately Library. What might the movie tell you about social norms and British customs? 413-665-2170. 202 Chestnut Plain Rd. Whately, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, May 17, 5pm
CULTURE STUDIES/NUTRITIONAL ANTHROPOLOGY
Did you know that the majority of people on Earth eat bugs? Most Americans, unaccustomed to eating insects, may find this difficult to imagine. Insects are packed with tons of protein and are prevalent everywhere.The foods eaten by people of a particular region are partially determined by what is available; however, in an increasingly global economy, Americans often eat foods from all over the world. You can expand your culinary horizons (without eating insects) by trying some Chinese and Japanese foods at this food tasting event hosted by the Sunderland Public Library. 413-665 2642. 20 School Street, Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, May 17, 5:30-6:30pm
MOMS’ NIGHT OUT/YOGA
Yoga practice provides physical benefits like pain reduction, strength, and flexibility, as well as mental benefits such as decreased stress. Parents could benefit immensely from opportunities to relax in healthy ways, like practicing yoga. This gentle yoga session is a perfect introduction to regular practice. To register call 413-664-4821. The Haskins Center Gym. 210 State Street, North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, May 17, 5:30pm-8pm
FILM STUDIES/CLASSICS
Would you like to join an all ages Film Club of movie fans and filmmakers? Meet at the Program Building at Red Gate Farm for this month’s meeting. Participants will work together on small projects and challenges with cameras. No experience is necessary and all equipment will be provided. The group will also screen some short films which were nominated for Academy Awards. No commitment or membership fee is required to join the RGF film club. Please note that this group shows PG and PG-13 movies. If you are in third-grade or younger, you must be accompanied by a parent. All participants under 17 must have parental consent to attend programs. Please RSVP by calling 413-625-9503. 4 Norman Road. Ashfield, MA. (DONATION)

Tuesday, May 17, 6:30pm
LIVING HISTORY/NEW ENGLAND HISTORY
Captivity narratives allow for interesting historical learning since captive taking involves conflict and a clash of cultures. The capture of Mary Rowlandson by Native Americans during King Philip’s War is a fascinating incident which teaches historians about colonial life through first person accounts. These accounts also provide information on war tactics and religious beliefs of the time. The Northfield Historical Society will present a dramatic re-enactment of these events at the Northfield Public Library. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street, Northfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, May 17, 7pm
FILM STUDIES
Immigration policies, drug policies, and United States//Mexico relations are complex political issues which have deep and sometimes devastating effects on individuals. The 2015 film, Western (Not Rated) explores this topic from an individual perspective, demonstrating the effect which cartel violence has had on two once harmonious towns on opposite sides of the border. You can experience the film at Amherst Cinema in this one time screening. 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: Parents with children ages three and under are invited to a lap-sit story hour every Tuesday and Friday at the Greenfield Public Library These fort-five minute story sessions involve half an hour of structured activity and fifteen minutes of visiting time. No registration required. 413-772-1544. 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)
  • 12pm-2pm – WRITING: Any writer looking for a place to work is welcome to use The LeVanway Meeting Room of the Greenfield Public Library Monday through Friday. Bring a lunch for this self-directed writing time with support from local writers. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, 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)
  • 1:30pm-6:30pm — FARMERS’ MARKET: Every Tuesday you will be able to shop for free-range meats, vegetables, and more. At the Greenfield farmers’ market, on Sears Avenue next to Green Fields Market. Greenfield, MA. (MARKET/SALE)
  • 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 18, 2016

Wednesday, May 18, 8:30am-4pm
AROMACHOLOGY/BOTANY
What are perfumes made of? It depends on the scent the perfume creators want. Flowers and other plants will result in an Earthy, floral fragrance. Other natural ingredients could include spices, fruits, 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)

Wednesday, May 18, 10am-5pm
ART STUDIES/MUSEUM ADVENTURES
Norman Rockwell was an American painter and illustrator, best known for his Saturday Evening Post covers and his series of paintings, the Four Freedoms. The Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge hosts the world’s largest collection of original Norman Rockwell artwork, providing local residents with a resource for learning about art and American history. In celebration of International Art Museum Day, you can visit the museum for free on Wednesday May 18th! 413-298-4100. 9 Glendale Road, Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, May 18, 2pm-3pm
STEM/COMPUTER BASICS
Facebook is used for more than just connecting with friends and family. Businesses and organizations use Facebook to grow their customers and audience. Facebook is also a great place to find local events and resources. If you want to learn the basics of creating a profile and navigating Facebook, come to this installment of basic computer workshops at the Westfield Athenaeum. Registration is required. 413-568-7833. 6 Elm Street, Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, May 18, 4pm-5pm
CRAFTS/FAIRY TALES
The word “fairy,” comes from the old French word “faerie,” meaning “enchantment.” Fairies appear frequently in English folklore. These tiny, magical creatures continue to capture the imagination of children and adults. Youth between the ages of four and twelve are invited to the Goodwin Library to make a fairy house out of natural materials like moss, bark, rocks, and sticks. A fairy will also be provided for decorating. You will be able to take your fairy house home with you. 413-584-7451. 50 Middle Street, Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, May 18, 6:30pm-8pm
WRITING
Muriel Rukeyser once posed this challenge: “What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open.” The Powder Keg Sessions is a women’s writing workshop at the Ramsdell library, where women come together to share their truths. The workshops are run by Suzi Banks Baum, an author, artist, and mother who teaches classes on nurturing the habit of daily writing. Come see what writing can do for you, and what your writing can do for others. 413- 274-3738. 1087 Main Street, Housatonic, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, May 18, 6:30pm-8pm
PERMACULTURE
Permaculture, a form of agriculture which focuses on reflecting natural ecosystems, can be executed on a large or small scale. Ecological designers sometimes implement large-scale permaculture projects which are integrated into food systems. You can also execute small-scale permaculture projects in you backyard garden. Lisa DePiano will be giving this workshop on permaculture basics at River Valley Co Op. Call 413-584-2665 or sign up at the Customer Service desk. 330 North King Street, Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, May 18, 6:30pm-8pm
MUSIC STUDIES/CULTURAL STUDIES
Many stringed instruments, including the oud, the harp, and the saz, originated in Middle Eastern regions. In the Middle East, traditional music remains popular, while Western-influenced, new genres are also emerging. Edward J. Hines has conducted extensive research covering the composition, performance and theory of Middle Eastern music. He will be discussing Middle Eastern folk and classical music traditions at the Westfield Athenaeum. 413-568-7833. 6 Elm Street, Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, May 18, 7pm
FILM STUDIES/RELIGIOUS STUDIES
The 2006 documentary, Ten Questions for the Dalai Lama features a conversational interview with Tenzin Gyasto, the 14th Dalai Lama. Director Rick Ray poses questions such as: “Why do the poor seem happier than the rich?” and “Should countries be dedicated to preserving their traditions or embrace modern culture?” This film provides a great introduction to concepts of Tibetan Buddhism and Eastern philosophy, as well as some modern political issues occurring in China and Tibet. Amherst Cinema. Amherst, MA. (<$)

Wednesday, May 18, 7pm-8pm
FILM STUDIES/HISTORY
The creation of art, whether it be music, visual art, writing, or something else, helps artists add meaning and purpose to their lives. At the end of World War II, thousands of secretly created artworks were found in concentration camps. These artworks provide historians with a new perspective and understanding of life in the camps. The 2015 film Because I Was a Painter (Not Rated) explores these artworks through interviews with surviving artists. You can attend a free screening of the film at the Ramsdell library. 413-274-3738. 1087 Main Street, Housatonic, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, May 18, 7pm-8:30pm
ZOOLOGY/ECOLOGY
Beavers have a remarkable impact on their habitat, as other animals are attracted to the ponds beavers create. Beavers help keep drinking water safe and increase biodiversity. Come to Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary to learn more about their habits and the history of beavers in North America. Beavers have spent 7 million years in this region, and many reintroduction efforts have taken place to improve declining beaver populations.This event is suitable for children three to twelve years old and their caregivers. Dress for the outdoors in long pants, long sleeves, and a hat. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA. ($ Adult <$ Child <$ Members)

Wednesday, May 18, 7pm-9pm
RENEWABLE ENERGY
One way to explore sustainable energy options and conduct research on the topic is to look at what different countries and communities are doing. Heather Smith has conducted research on community energy systems in Adelaide South Australia, where 40% of electricity comes from wind and solar energy and 25% of households have rooftop solar systems. Heather will be discussing her findings, and comparing to local systems in the Pioneer Valley. Come join in the discussion at the Unitarian Society of Northampton and Florence. 413- 584-1390. 220 Main Street, Northampton, MA. (FREE)

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

  • 7am-9am – ORNITHOLOGY/GUIDED NATURE HIKE
    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)
  • 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)
  • 12pm-2pm – WRITING: Any writer looking for a place to work is welcome to use The LeVanway Meeting Room of the Greenfield Public Library Monday through Friday. Bring a lunch for this self-directed writing time with support from local writers. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, 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)
  • 2pm-6pm — FARMERS’ MARKET: Shop for fresh produce, flowers, and handmade items every Wednesday afternoon at the Great Falls Farmers’ Market. The corner of Avenue A and 2nd Street. Turners Falls, MA. (MARKET/SALE(
  • 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 19, 2016

Thursday, May 19, 8am-9am
MINDFULNESS/MEDITATION
Meditation has many emotional and physiological benefits including increased concentration, emotional regulation, and even improvement of cardiovascular and immune systems. All are invited to participate in a secular meditation practice, every week on Thursday mornings at Tsegyalgar. Participating with a group in a guided practice can help you get started incorporating meditation into your routine. Cushions are provided. 413-369-4153. 18 Schoolhouse Road, Conway, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, May 19, 4pm-8:45pm
ART STUDIES/PARTICIPATORY THEATER
Technological innovations are constantly opening up new opportunities for experimental artwork. This participatory art and sound installation at MASS MoCA will take gallery visitors on a choreographed journey through the museum. Each visitor will receive a cell phone and a pair of headphones. Participants will feel like they are on their own private, guided tour, while at the same time they are experiencing the event as a group through movement. This installation was created by French duo Projet In Situ. Departures take place every 15 minutes and the performance will last approximately 70 minutes. You can purchase tickets by calling 413-662-2111. 1040 MASS MoCA WAY. North Adams, MA. (Members <$. Non Members $)

Thursday, May 19, 5pm-7pm
WOODWORKING
Woodworking can be a hobby or a full-fledged business. This is a practical art form which requires patience, spatial reasoning, and creativity. Vermont woodworker and artist Scott Nehring taught himself these skills and has applied them to his business, making custom furniture, architecture, and violins. An exhibit of his work will run from May 19-May 27th at Stamell Stringed Instruments. Come to the opening reception to learn about woodworking as well as stringed instruments. 413-256-0936. 18 Kellogg Avenue, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, May 19, 5:30pm-7:30pm
STEM/CODING
HTML, HyperText Markup Language, provides basic structures of web pages. CSS, Cascading Style Sheets, is another coding language which can be used in conjunction with HTML to determine visual elements of a web page. This Holyoke Codes workshop will get you started on your own web page using basic HTML and CSS. This workshop is best suited for ages ten and up. Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center. 100 Bigelow Street, Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, May 19, 6pm
YOUTH THEATER
Disney’s Into The Woods brings favorite fairy tale characters such as Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, and Jack and the Beanstalk together as they set off to make their wishes come true but learn to be careful what they wish for. Under the direction of Tony Jones, J-ART Youth will be performing their adaptation, Into the Woods Junior at Springfield Jewish Community Center. Come support these young actors, between the ages of eight and fourteen, as they hone their performing skills and entertain audiences. For tickets call 413-739-4715. 1160 Dickinson Street, Springfield, MA. (Adults $. Children <$. Reserved patron $$)

Thursday, May 19, 6pm
YOUTH WRITING
For 23 years the Odyssey Bookshop has supported youth creativity with their Children’s Writing Contest. All participants of the 2016 contest are invited, along with their caregivers, to an award ceremony. Winners will receive gift cards and will be invited to share their work. Come hear from the next generation of writers! Encouraging your children to write for fun will help them process life events, work through their ideas, and communicate more effectively. 413-534-7307. 9 College Street, South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, May 19, 6pm-7:30pm
POETRY
During National Poetry Month, in April, readers and writers across the nation celebrated the influence poetry has had in their lives. April is also a popular month for writing new poems, and now it’s time to share! Participants in the Westfield Athenaeum’s adult poetry contest will be showcasing their work in the Jasper Rand Art Gallery. Come hear modern poetry from local writers and enjoy refreshments. 413-568-7833. 6 Elm Street, Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, May 19, 6:30pm
LITERACY/ANIMAL STUDIES
This “Animal Architects” themed storytime at the Westhampton Public Library will feature stories and crafts. Children and their caregivers will hear readings of The Three Little Pigs: An Architectural Tale as well as Insect Architect, before designing their own homes with straws, Popsicle sticks, and masking tape. Architectural crafts like this one help kids improve their fine motor skills and dexterity while playing! 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, May 19, 7pm
LITERACY/HISTORY
Without Shakespeare’s First Folio, Twelfth Night,Macbeth, Cymbeline, and many others would be lost completely. In order to support the Amherst College exhibition of Shakespeare’s First Folio, the Jones Library is hosting various programs for people of all ages to learn about Shakespeare. In this talk, UMass Amherst professor Adam Zucker will discuss the strategies scholars have used in analyzing Shakespeare’s First Folio, attempting to make sense out of the frequent, whimsical nonsense in Shakespeare’s writing. For more information, call 413-259-3223. 43 Amity Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, May 19, 7pm
FILM STUDIES/LITERACY
Comparing books with their film adaptations is one way of analyzing the advantages of either medium. Books give the reader ample opportunity to explore the internal thoughts of a character or many characters, whereas films can only achieve this through narration. Films, on the other hand, can pair visual elements with dialogue and music. It isn’t fair to expect a film to exactly mirror the book it is based on, or elicit the same reactions and emotions in the audience. The Stockbridge Public Library is encouraging people to think about film adaptations with this screening of the 1961 film, Breakfast at Tiffany’s (Rated G). Copies of the Truman Capote novella this film is based on will be available to check out through the library. The screening will take place in the Austen Riggs Center’s Medical Office Building. 413- 298-5501. 25 Main Street, Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)

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

  • 8am-9am – MINDFULNESS/MEDITATION
    All are invited to participate in a secular meditation practice, every week on Thursday mornings at Tsegyalgar. Participating with a group in a guided practice can help you get started incorporating meditation into your routine.
    Cushions are provided. 413-369-4153. 18 Schoolhouse Road, Conway, MA. (FREE)
  • 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)
  • 12pm-2pm – WRITING: Any writer looking for a place to work is welcome to use The LeVanway Meeting Room of the Greenfield Public Library Monday through Friday. Bring a lunch for this self-directed writing time with support from local writers. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, 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 20, 2016

Friday, May 20, 7am-9am
ORNITHOLOGY/GUIDED NATURE WALK
You can bird watch year-round, but Spring and Fall are the best times to learn about migrating birds. Jonathan Pierce, Pleasant Valley Caretaker and Hoffman Bird Club Leader, will help participants identify newly arrived wood-warblers during this guided nature walk. These birds are small, but many of them are bright and colorful, making them relatively easy to spot. Learn about local ecology while enjoying a walk around the Canoe Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary. Please bring binoculars. Beginners are welcome, no registration needed. 413-637-0320. Holmes Road, Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, May 20, 10am-5pm
COLLABORATIVE CONSUMPTION/LITERACY
Looking for a good book to read, or give to someone as a gift? Come to the Storrs Library Spring Book Sale! Your purchases provide money to support programs, events, museum passes, landscaping and more. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street, Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

Friday, May 20, 12:30pm-5pm
PSYCHOLOGY/HEALTH
Parents, educators, and others who regularly interact with teens, need to know how to identify a mental health crisis and act accordingly. This Youth Mental Health First Aid training will identify common mental health challenges for young people and outline steps to take in a crisis, or non crisis situation. This course will covers topics such as anxiety, depression, substance use, disorders in which psychosis may occur, disruptive behavior disorders, and eating disorders. 413-582-0471 Ext. 5559. 8 Atwood Drive, Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Friday, May 20, 2pm-3:30pm
FAMILY FILM
Northfield Public Library will be showing the 1993 film (Rated G) which tells the story of a Bulldog, a Golden Retriever, and a Himalayan cat, who are displaced and have to find their way home. This well-loved movie relays positive messages about teamwork. The film is also based on a book. Kids who enjoy the movie may be interested in reading the book and finding out how it compares to the adaptation. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street, Northfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, May 20, 4pm-8:45pm
ART STUDIES/PARTICIPATORY THEATER
Technological innovations are constantly opening up new opportunities for experimental artwork. This participatory art and sound installation at MASS MoCA will take gallery visitors on a choreographed journey through the museum. Each visitor will receive a cell phone and a pair of headphones. Participants will feel like they are on their own private, guided tour, while at the same time experiencing the event as a group through movement. This installation was created by French duo Projet In Situ. Departures take place every 15 minutes and the performance will last approximately 70 minutes. You can purchase tickets by calling 413-662-2111. 1040 MASS MoCA WAY. North Adams, MA. (Members <$. Non Members $)

Friday, May 20, 5pm-7pm
WOODWORKING
Woodworking can be a hobby or a full-fledged business. This is a practical art form which requires patience, spatial reasoning, and creativity. Vermont woodworker and artist Scott Nehring taught himself these skills and has applied them to his business, making custom furniture, architecture, and violins. An exhibit of his work will run from May 19-May 27th at Stamell Stringed Instruments. Come to the opening reception to learn about woodworking as well as stringed instruments. 413-256-0936. 18 Kellogg Avenue, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Friday, May 20, 6pm
SERVICE-BASED LEARNING/FITNESS
The American Cancer Society Relay For Life is an opportunity to celebrate survivors, remembers those who are no longer with us, and fight for a cure. You are invited to contribute to the 11th annual Relay For Life of Northern Berkshire by running, donating, or cheering on the runners at the Noel Field Athletics Complex. 290 State Street, North Adams, MA. (DONATION/VOLUNTEER)

Friday, May 20, 6pm-8pm
FOOD HISTORY/CANDY
Marshmallows are made from the plant Althaea, which also has medicinal uses. How did this plant go from being used medicinally to becoming the central ingredient in S’mores? Susan Benjamin is the author of Sweet As Sin: The Unwrapped Story of How Candy Became America’s Favorite Pleasure, and the owner of a research-based, historic candy company. She will be giving a talk at the Buckland Public Library on the history of sweets such as marshmallows, chewing gum, and candy bars. Samples will be available and copies of Benjamin’s book will be available for sale. 413-625-9412. Buckland, MA. (DONATION)

Friday, May 20, 6:30pm
FIBER ARTS/SKILLSHARING
You might think of lace as an inherently delicate fabric or form. But lace patterns made through needle-tatting can be comparatively durable. Tatting is a technique used to make traditional lace items such as doilies, linings and collars, as well as jewelry items like pendants and earrings. You can learn needle-tatting or practice your needle-tatting skills with beginners at the Northfield Public Library. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street, Northfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, May 20, 7pm-9pm
SKILLSHARING/TOYS
The classically popular toy, the Yo-Yo, is an example of a skill toy, an object designed for dexterity play and manipulation for theatrical effect. Jump ropes, hula hoops, and boomerangs are other examples. If you’re an expert or just interested in skill toys, come to a casual meet up of skill toy users, hosted by A2Z Science and Learning Store. This Skill Toy Night will take place in Eastworks. 116 Pleasant Street, Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

Friday, May 20, 7pm-11pm
PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT/DANCE LESSONS
Want to learn how to swing dance without committing to a series of expensive lessons? The Shire City Sanctuary Rhythm Club will provide lessons for beginners from 7-8. Advanced dancers are welcome to arrive at 8pm to dance along to live jazz music by The Lucky 5. All ages welcome! 413-236-9600. 40 Melville Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($)

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

  • 9am-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Community Network for Children hosts a playgroup for newborns through preschool-aged children with their caregivers at the Shutesbury Elementary School every Friday through June 30, 2016. It may not run on school holidays and in inclement weather; please call ahead to check. 413-259-1212. 23 West Pelham Road, Shutesbury, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am – WRITING: The Edwards Public Library‘s Writing Group meets every Friday. Older students with a passion for writing of any style can attend this supportive intergenerational group. 413-527-9480. 30 East Street. Southampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11am – PLAYGROUP: Young kids can play, learn, and discover at a weekly program every Friday at the Becket Washington School. 413-655-0146. 12 Maple Street. Becket, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Easthampton Family Center is open every Monday, Tuesday, and Friday through May 2016 for drop-in playgroup and activities for kids ages 5 and under. The Family Center follows the Easthampton Public Schools schedule. 413-527-5496. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Cummington Family Center is holding a playgroup every Wednesday and Friday through May 2016. Young kids can come play and make friends. Takes place in old Berkshire Trail Elementary School. 2 Main Street. Cummington, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Frontier Regional CFCE is offering a playgroup for kids ages 5 and under every Tuesday and Friday at Sunderland Elementary School through June 10, 2016. Follows Sunderland school schedule. 413-665-8928. 1 Swampfield Drive. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: There will be a weekly playgroup every Friday at Whole Children for children ages 5 and under. 413-585-8010. 41 Russell Street. Hadley, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-12pm — PLAYGROUP: Children ages 0-5 and their parents are invited to a playgroup at the Belchertown Family Center every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday morning. 413-835-5201. 720 Franklin Street, Belchertown, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am – PLAYGROUP: Playgroup/storytime every Friday at Anne T. Dunphy School. 1 Petticoat Hill Road. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am – PLAYGROUP: Childcare of the Berkshires, Inc. holds a playgroup every Friday at the playground on Narragansett Avenue. 413-664-4821. Narragansett Avenue. Lanesborough, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am & 2pm – GEOLOGY: Learn about the fascinating geology of Natural Bridge State Park at their Marvelous Marble Tour every Friday at 10am & 2pm. Join a park interpreter for an easy walk around the park exploring its geologic history and the remains of the 19th- and 20th-century marble quarry that once operated on the grounds. All ages will enjoy exploring the park and learning some interesting local geology. 413-663-6392. McCauley Road. North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11am – PLAYGROUP: Child Care of the Berkshires, Inc. is offering a free baby group for babies and caretakers at the Williamstown Youth Center the first Friday of every month. 413-663-6593. School Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11am – PRENATAL SUPPORT: Exercise and emotional support are both important components of a healthy pregnancy. Get some of both at a walk and talk group that allows pregnant women to gather, support each other, and learn together. Each session begins with a walk and ends with a sit-down talk about topics such as nutrition, health, and infant care. This group is sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. Childcare is provided. 413-644-0104 x 1159. 442 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11am – STORYTIME: Parents with children ages three and under are invited to a lap-sit story hour every Tuesday and Friday at the Greenfield Public Library These fort-five minute story sessions involve half an hour of structured activity and fifteen minutes of visiting time. No registration required. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, 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. ($)
  • 11am-12pm – STEM STORYTIME The third Friday of every month the Cushman Library will be running a STEM themed storytime for preschoolers. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Come see how we relate these topics to everyday concepts which preschools understand and find entertaining. 28 Church St, Bernardston, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am-12:50pm – ICE SKATING: Want to teach a child how to ice skate but find it difficult to navigate the ice when it is so crowded? The Mullins Center on the UMass Amherst Campus offers a “just for families” skate (no college students) every Friday throughout the school year. You can borrow ice skates or bring your own. Skate rental is free with paid admission. Parents and caregivers skate free when accompanying children. Call to confirm: 413-545-2791, Mullins Center. 200 Commonwealth Ave., University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Amherst, MA (<$)
  • 12pm-2pm – WRITING: Any writer looking for a place to work is welcome to use The LeVanway Meeting Room of the Greenfield Public Library Monday through Friday. Bring a lunch for this self-directed writing time with support from local writers. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 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)
  • 2pm-5pm – WRITING/WORK SPACE: Any local business person or telecommuter is welcome to use the Meeting Room of the Greenfield Public Library Mondays and Fridays, as a quiet workspace. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, 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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