Suggested Events for December 24th-30th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

Suggest Event

“We love Hilltown Families at our home because it provides us with resources for activities throughout the area, answers readers questions about various topics, and allows our family a chance to connect with other families in the area who have the same interest as we do!” -Victoria Valenti-Triggs (Shelburne Falls, MA)

“We love Hilltown Families at our home because it provides us with resources for activities throughout the area, answers readers questions about various topics, and allows our family a chance to connect with other families in the area who have the same interest as we do!” -Victoria Valenti-Triggs (Shelburne Falls, MA)

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

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! Click HERE to find out more.

Hilltown Families’ Events:

Jan 1

Join us on New Year’s Day at Flywheel in Easthampton from 10am-12noon

Join us on New Year’s Day at Flywheel in Easthampton from 10am-12noon

On New Year’s Day (Jan 1), Hilltown Families and the Flywheel Arts Collective are continuing the beloved ‘Morning Music Party’ series for another year with a breakfast bash featuring food, dancing and diversions for kids! This year, we are starting off this family series on New Year’s Day, Friday, January 1, with a First Day Morning Music Party from 10am-12noon in Easthampton, MA. Come enjoy a breakfast bash featuring free pancakes and an awesome dance party for all ages! It takes place at Flywheel in Easthampton’s old Town Hall. This event is a fundraiser for both Flywheel & Hilltown Families, with a “pay what you can” admission to attend with your family. So much cheaper than a night out on the town and just as much fun!

Bulletin Board

Dec 26-30

Let your imagination soar at the New England Air Museum this holiday season! The museum is offering an exciting array of family fun activities during December School Vacation Week, Monday, December 26 through Friday, December 30. Explore 3 giant exhibit hangars filled with over 60 historic aircraft, and experience the wonders of flight through hands-on activities including: Daily hands-on Build & Fly Challenges; Interactive Flight Science Demonstrations; Computerized Flight Simulators; and Open Cockpit experiences in historic aircraft. Visitors can also take to the skies at the museum’s Virtual Flight Center using advanced, three screen yoke and pedal flight simulators (ages 10+). Visit their website www.neam.org for day to day activities.

Dec 26-30 & Feb 20-24

Central Rock Gym in Hadley is offering Climbing Vacation Programs during school breaks, December 26-30 & February 20-24! Great for ages 7-13, their program focuses on climbing for all skill levels, and includes an emphasis on problem solving and team building initiatives. Throughout their week, children will have the opportunity to experiment with different types of climbing, engage in exciting games and group activities, and concludes with a pizza party on the final day. Email youth.crghadley@gmail.com for information. To register, or www.centralrockgym.com.

Jan 7

Amherst Montessori School invites parents to an Open House on Saturday, January 7th at 10am. Meet teachers and administrators, tour AMS’ beautiful new school in South Amherst, and learn about the Montessori curriculum for infants through sixth grade. Amherst Montessori is a warm, safe, and supportive community that nurtures a lifelong love of learning. Learn more and register online at amherstmontessori.org.

Dec 24

Looking for something to do on the first night of Chanukah? On Sat., Dec 24 at 5pm join Congregation B’Israel, Lander-Grinspoon Academy, Beit Ahavah ~ The Reform Synagogue of Greater Northampton and PJ Library of the Upper Pioneer Valley of Western Mass to celebrate with the lighting of Chanukah candles, the singing of Chanukah songs and playing dreidel under one roof. The festivities will be held at Congregation B’nai Israel (257 Prospect St., Northampton) and will continue after candle lighting with kosher Chinese food catered by Pengyew Chin, two movies (one for kids & one for teens/adults), and a dance party. Tickets: $10/adult; $5/child under 12. Reservations are requested by Dec 16 and may be made at Chanukah Chinese Food & a Movie.

FMC Ice Sports offers a fun and unique learning environment for all ages. Participants in their Step 1 Learn to Skate programs are taught the basics of ice skating. Students graduate to their Step 2 and Step 3 programs that focus on the more sport specific skills required in hockey and figure skating. FMC Ice Sports programs can be found at the Smead Arena in Springfield and the Collins Moylan Arena in Greenfield. Class information and registration are available online at www.fmcicesports.com or by calling 1-888-74-SKATE. Use promo code HTF201617 and receive $10 OFF your entire purchase of any instructional program!

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, 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.

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
December 24 – 30, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an EventCultural Itineraries | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Storyhour & Playgroups| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

Donate Now Events Happening in the Hilltowns

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Hilltown Family Variety Show9-10am – HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW: This week, we’ll feature a Christmas Episode with Guest DJ, Frank Gallo of Rolie Polie Guacamole. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org. Encore of Saturday’s broadcast airs Sunday morning from 7-8am and podcast is posted here on Hilltown Families immediately following Sunday’s broadcast. Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcasts anytime. Click here to choose from over 9 years!

Saturday, December 24, 10am-2pm
LOCOMOTIVE/SANTA
Trains are often incorporated into Christmas village displays. Trains have symbolic ties to Christmas since they are one way for families to travel to one another. Toy trains are also a popular Christmas gift. You can celebrate the history of these symbolic ties to the holidays by visiting Santa’s Trains at Look Park. The Garden House has been transformed into a historic railway station, complete with decorated trees and model trains. Chat with the conductor, meet Santa’s helpers, and enjoy festive treats. 413-584-5457. 300 North Main Street. Florence, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 24, 1pm
FILM STUDIES/CHRISTMAS
It’s A Wonderful Life is one of the most popular American films of all time and a favorite family classic around the holidays. The 1946 film was based on a on short story called “The Greatest Gift” by Philip Van Doren Stern. The film is also often adapted for the stage. Have you ever seen it on the big screen? This winter, you and your family can attend a screening of It’s A Wonderful Life at Amherst Cinema. You can use this film as a launching point to talk to your children about the impact each one of us has on those around us. 413- 253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (<$)

Saturday, December 24, 5pm
CHANUKAH
Looking for something to do on the first night of Chanukah? Join Congregation B’Israel, Lander-Grinspoon Academy, Beit Ahavah ~ The Reform Synagogue of Greater Northampton and PJ Library of the Upper Pioneer Valley of Western Mass to celebrate with the lighting of Chanukah candles, the singing of Chanukah songs, and playing dreidel under one roof. The festivities will be held at Congregation B’nai Israel and will continue after candle lighting with kosher Chinese food catered by Pengyew Chin, two movies (one for kids and one for teens/adults), and a dance party. Reservations are requested by December 16 and may be made at Chanukah Chinese Food & a Movie. All are welcome to attend. Please also bring an item for the Jewish Family Service of Western Massachusetts Winter Clothing Drive. 253 Prospect Street. Northampton, MA. ($)

Saturday, December 24, 5pm-6:30pm
HANUKKAH
Want to help light the largest menorah in Western Mass? Join the Springfield Jewish Community Center, the Jewish Federation of Western MA, and community synagogues and schools to kick off the Hannukah season. Attendees will gather for havdallah, a prayer ceremony, followed by a community meal of Chinese food and latkes. There will be opportunities to engage in acts of kindness such as making soup cups for a local survival shelter, no-sew blankets for donation to local families, and holiday cards for area elders. 413-739-4715. 1160 Dickinson Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

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Sunday, December 25, 2016

Hilltown Family Variety Show7-8am – FAMILY RADIO:This week, we’ll feature a Christmas Episode with Guest DJ, Frank Gallo of Rolie Polie Guacamole. Valley Free Radio (WXOJ-LP 103.3FM Northampton, MA) airs encores of 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 9 years of archived shows.

Sunday, December 25, 11am-2pm
CHANUKAH
The olive, olive leaves, and olive oil all share special significance in traditional Jewish culture. In the Bible, Noah is given an olive leaf after the flood, as a symbol of peace. You can connect with your Jewish culture and learn a practical skill at this community Chanukah celebration. The event will include an olive press demonstration along with games and fun activities. A lunch of Chinese food will be available. Walk-ins are welcome to this program at LYA -Jewish Day School Western MA. For more information call 413-567-8665. 1148 Converse Street. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, December 25, 5pm-11pm
CHRISTMAS/LIGHT DISPLAY
The festive light display, Bright Nights in Forest Park, has been listed as one of the Top 100 Attractions in North America seven times! The light displays creatively celebrate not only the themes of Christmas, Santa, and winter, but also branch into other subjects with displays like the Victorian Village. Bright Nights invites visitors on Friday and Saturday nights through January 1st. For a full list of open hours and other details visit the Bright Nights website. 300 Sumner Avenue. Springfield, MA. ($)

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Monday, December 26, 2016

Storyhour & Playgroups: East Longmeadow, Pelham & Whately

Monday, December 26, 9am-12pm
STEM/ELECTRONICS
Young people typically adapt very well to “new” technologies, which after all, aren’t so new to them. But there is a difference between being able to use technology, and understanding how it works. If your children like working with gadgets, they may have an interest in hands-on electronics activities. This one-day program at the Berkshire Museum invites youth in grades 3 through 6 to learn how to wire and assemble LED lights. Participants will use these LED lights to create a decoration for New Year’s. No prior electronic experience is necessary. Space is limited. Choose one day, either Monday December 26 or Tuesday December 27. Call 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Route 7. Pittsfield, MA. ($$)

Monday, December 26, 10am-2pm
AVIATION
Keep learning this December school vacation week, at the New England Air Museum. You can bring your entire family to learn about engineering and New England history through the lens of of aviation. The museum is offering fun family activities on Monday, December 26th through Friday, December 30th. Visitors can explore three giant exhibit hangars filled with historic aircraft, and experience the wonders of flight through hands-on activities. Visitors can also experience flight simulations in the Virtual Flight Center. (The Virtual Flight Center is open to visitors ages 10 and older and a $5.00 fee person fee applies for a 30 minute flight.) 860-623-330. 36 Perimeter Road. Windsor Locks, CT. (Adult $; Ages 4-11 and seniors <$; age 3 and under FREE)

Monday, December 26, 10am-5pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES
During school vacation week, you can keep your child learning by bringing the whole family to the Springfield Museums. In the science museum, the exhibition Holiday Magic: Gingerbread Competition you can explore the gingerbread creations produced by local bakeries, schools, adults and kids, and vote for your favorites! The museum will be holding special activities for kids from Tuesday, December 27 through Friday, December 30. Visit the museum website for a full list of activities. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. ($. Ages 3-17 <$. Children under two FREE)

Monday, December 26, 12pm-4pm
MOVEMENT
Some kids love, and benefit from, vestibular input. This term refers to our detection of motion, which is connected to the inner ear. All movement affects vestibular receptors, but some activities such as spinning, swinging, and hanging upside down, are particularly intense. The Holyoke Merry Go Round, known as “Holyoke’s Happiness Machine,” is a sensory treat for the young and old. This antique carousel with brightly painted wooden animals and calliope music was once part of Mountain Park, an amusement park on the side of Mt. Tom, and was moved to Holyoke Heritage Park when Mountain Park closed in 1987. The Merry-Go-Round will be open Monday, December 26 through Friday, December 30 from 12pm-4pm. If you can, please bring new mittens, gloves, scarves, or hats for their “Warming Tree” in support of Providence Ministries. 413-538-9838. 221 Appleton Street. Holyoke, MA. (<$)

Monday, December 26, 1pm-4pm
ART STUDIES/ANIMATION
Cartoons have evolved over the decades from comic strips and comic books, to animations for television and movies. Do your children enjoy cartoons? Bring them to the Norman Rockwell Museum to create their own! Animator Scott Lincoln will teach participants how to develop characters and storylines! Monday, December 26, through Friday, December 30, there will be drop-in art activities inspired by the current exhibition, Hanna-Barbera: The Architects of Saturday Morning. This program is free with museum admission. 413-298-4100. 9 Glendale Road. Stockbridge, MA. ($. College students with ID <$. Ages 6-18 <$. Under 5 and museum members FREE)

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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Storyhour & Playgroups: Agawam, Amherst, Belchertown, Cheshire, Easthampton, Florence, Gill, Great Barrington, Greenfield, Hatfiled, Huntington, Lanesborough, Lee, Ludlow, New Salem, North Adams, Sheffield, Sunderland, Turners Falls, Ware & West Springfield.

Tuesday, December 27, 9am-12pm
STEM/ELECTRONICS
Young people typically adapt very well to “new” technologies, which after all, aren’t so new to them. But there is a difference between being able to use technology, and understanding how it works. If your children like working with gadgets, they may have an interest in hands-on electronics activities. This one-day program at the Berkshire Museum invites youth in grades 3 through 6 to learn how to wire and assemble LED lights. Participants will use these LED lights to create a decoration for New Year’s. No prior electronic experience is necessary. Space is limited. Choose one day, either Monday December 26 or Tuesday December 27. Call 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Route 7. Pittsfield, MA. ($$)

Tuesday, December 27, 10am-2pm
AVIATION
Keep learning this December school vacation week, at the New England Air Museum. You can bring your entire family to learn about engineering and New England history through the lens of of aviation. The museum is offering fun family activities on Monday December 26th through Friday December 30th. Visitors can explore three giant exhibit hangars filled with historic aircraft, and experience the wonders of flight through hands-on activities. Visitors can also experience flight simulations in the Virtual Flight Center. (The Virtual Flight Center is open to visitors ages 10 and older and a $5.00 fee person fee applies for a 30 minute flight.) 860-623-330. 36 Perimeter Road. Windsor Locks, CT. (Adult $; Ages 4-11 and seniors <$; age 3 and under FREE)

Tuesday, December 27, 10am-5pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES/PUPPETRY
During school vacation week, you can keep your child learning by bringing the whole family to the Springfield Museums. In the science museum, the exhibition Holiday Magic: Gingerbread Competition you can explore the gingerbread creations produced by local bakeries, schools, adults and kids, and vote for your favorites! On Tuesday, December 27, Talking Hands Theater will be performing Little Superheroes, a show about how kids can save the world by protecting our environment. Visit the museum website for a full list of activities. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. ($. Ages 3-17 <$. Children under two FREE)

Tuesday, December 27, 11am
FAMILY THEATER
Pirate stories feed children’s imagination and help them learn good from bad. You can bring your family to witness a pirate story on stage. Nutshell Playhouse presents “Pirates!” a swashbuckling adventure featuring bold buccaneers, a mysterious map with a riddle, cursed treasure, a visit to an island that you can’t see, a pirate ghost, and a magical journey to the bottom of the sea. This seafaring tale features mime, music, masks, and puppets created by Clothespin Puppets. Whitney Center for the Arts
413-443-0289. 42 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, December 27, 11am-1pm
KINDNESS
Teaching your kids to write thank you notes can help them build their communication skills while helping them reflect on their appreciation for loved ones. Kids age seven and up are invited to the Greenfield Public Library to write thank you notes for loved ones who have done something nice for them this holiday season. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, December 27, 12pm-4pm
MOVEMENT
Some kids love, and benefit from, vestibular input. This term refers to our detection of motion, which is connected to the inner ear. All movement affects vestibular receptors, but some activities such as spinning, swinging, and hanging upside down, are particularly intense. The Holyoke Merry Go Round, known as “Holyoke’s Happiness Machine,” is a sensory treat for the young and old. This antique carousel with brightly painted wooden animals and calliope music was once part of Mountain Park, an amusement park on the side of Mt. Tom, and was moved to Holyoke Heritage Park when Mountain Park closed in 1987. The Merry-Go-Round will be open Monday, December 26 through Friday, December 30 from 12pm-4pm. If you can, please bring new mittens, gloves, scarves, or hats for their “Warming Tree” in support of Providence Ministries. 413-538-9838. 221 Appleton Street. Holyoke, MA. (<$)

Tuesday, December 27, 1pm-4pm
ART STUDIES/MUSEUM ADVENTURES
Artistic activities help kids to express themselves and think creatively while working on their fine motor skills. More advanced art projects take a great deal of patience and perseverance. For the December school break, kids are invited to visit the Clark Art Institute! In addition to exploring the galleries and engaging in artistic crafts such as snow globe making, families can participate in winter themed activities including as snowshoeing on the 140-acre campus. Complimentary admission is provided to one adult per child participating in the activities. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. (Adults $; Clark members, children 18 and younger, and students with valid ID FREE)

Tuesday, December 27, 1pm-4pm
ART STUDIES/ANIMATION
Cartoons have evolved over the decades from comic strips and comic books, to animations for television and movies. Do your children enjoy cartoons? Bring them to the Norman Rockwell Museum to create their own! Animator Scott Lincoln will teach participants how to develop characters and storylines! Monday, December 26, through Friday, December 30, there will be drop-in art activities inspired by the current exhibition, Hanna-Barbera: The Architects of Saturday Morning. This program is free with museum admission. 413-298-4100. 9 Glendale Road. Stockbridge, MA. ($. College students with ID <$. Ages 6-18 <$. Under 5 and museum members FREE)

Tuesday, December 27, 4pm-6pm
ORNITHOlOGY
The barred owl is an example of an owl species which you might spot in Massachusetts forests. The barred owl’s distinct call consists of eight distinctive hoots. A mnemonic device often used for remembering this owl’s call is the phrase: “Who cooks for you, who cooks for you all.” You and your children can learn more at this “Owl Prowl,” at Bartholomew’s Cobble. The program will begin with a reading of the children’s story, Owl Moon, followed by a hike through the fields and forests of the cobble. This program is appropriate for anyone able to be quiet for short periods. Flashlights are strongly encouraged. For more information please call 413-298-3239 ex 3013. 117 Cooper Hill Road. Sheffield, MA. (Adults <$; Kids FREE)

Tuesday, December 27, 6pm
FAMILY FILM
Come see a recent children’s film in the cozy setting of the library! The 2016 film The Secret Life of Pets (rated PG) explores the life of pets after their owners leave the house. It is also a story of overcoming differences as one character, a terrier named Max, is faced with a stray his owner takes in. These messages may ring true for children dealing with changes in their lives due to the arrival of a new sibling. You and your children can see this movie with other families at the Sunderland Public Library. 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, December 27, 6:30pm
MUSIC STUDIES/CLASSICAL
Do you enjoy classical music? This program at the Springfield City Library will teach you about a wide array of classical compositions. Two teachers from the Community Music School of Springfield will play selections by J.S. Bach, Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky, discuss their knowledge of these composers, and relay information about their experiences as musicians. Sofya Shainskaya is a distinguished pianist who has performed, taught, and arranged music. Boris Kogan is a cellist who has performed in his native country of Russia as well as in various locations in the United States. Come to the Sixteen Acres Branch Library to hear their music and their stories. 413-263-6828. 1187 Parker Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Storyhour & Playgroups: Amherst, Athol, Becket, Belchertown, Bernardston, Cummington, Deerfield, East Longmeadow, Erving, Granby, Greenfield, Huntington, Leverett, Monson, New Marlborough, North Adams, Northampton, Sheffield, Shelburne Falls, South Deerfield, Springfield, Turners Falls, Wendell, West Springfield, and Williamsburg.

Wednesday, December 28, 10am-12pm
NATURE STUDIES/SCIENCE
The unique patterns formed by snowflakes can be inspiration for either artistic creation, scientific exploration, or both! “The Art and Science of Snowflakes” program at Bartholomew’s Cobble invites you and your children to learn about Wilson Bently, the person who first discovered the individuality of snowflakes. The discussion will be followed by art and science projects! This program is appropriate for children ages five and up, accompanied by their caregivers. For more information call 413-298-3239×3013. 117 Cooper Hill Road. Sheffield, MA. (Adults $; Kids FREE)

Wednesday, December 28, 10am-2pm
AVIATION
Keep learning this December school vacation week, at the New England Air Museum. You can bring your entire family to learn about engineering and New England history through the lens of of aviation. The museum is offering fun family activities on Monday December 26th through Friday December 30th. Visitors can explore three giant exhibit hangars filled with historic aircraft, and experience the wonders of flight through hands-on activities. Visitors can also experience flight simulations in the Virtual Flight Center. (The Virtual Flight Center is open to visitors ages 10 and older and a $5.00 fee person fee applies for a 30 minute flight.) 860-623-330. 36 Perimeter Road. Windsor Locks, CT. (Adult $; Ages 4-11 and seniors <$; age 3 and under FREE)

Wednesday, December 28, 10am-4pm
ANIMAL STUDIES/TRACKING
How can you track animals when they are hiding away for the winter? This Great Falls Discovery Center program, “Where are all the Animals Hiding?” will teach youth participants about seasonal habits of local species. Kids will learn clues for finding animals’ secret winter homes. There will be activities and crafts at the front Welcome Desk. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, December 28, 10am-5pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES
During school vacation week, you can keep your child learning by bringing the whole family to the Springfield Museums. In the science museum, the exhibition Holiday Magic: Gingerbread Competition you can explore the gingerbread creations produced by local bakeries, schools, adults and kids, and vote for your favorites! On Wednesday, December 28, other activities include a wild animal show and a graphic novel making workshop. Visit the museum website for a full list of activities. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. ($. Ages 3-17 <$. Children under two FREE)

Wednesday, December 28, 11am, 1pm, and 3pm
FAMILY THEATER/MARIONETTES
This December school vacation week, you and your child can learn New England history at the Old Sturbridge Village and catch a marionette performance of a classic children’s story. The award-winning company, The National Marionette Theatre, has been entertaining audiences with its productions for more than forty years. You can choose from four different 50 minute productions: Pinocchio on December 28, Sleeping Beauty on December 29, Peter and the Wolf on December 30, or Hansel and Gretel on December 31. For an additional five dollars you will be granted admission to explore Old Sturbridge Village. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. (Tickets <$; Museum admission <$)

Wednesday, December 28, 12pm-4pm
MOVEMENT
Some kids love, and benefit from, vestibular input. This term refers to our detection of motion, which is connected to the inner ear. All movement affects vestibular receptors, but some activities such as spinning, swinging, and hanging upside down, are particularly intense. The Holyoke Merry Go Round, known as “Holyoke’s Happiness Machine,” is a sensory treat for the young and old. This antique carousel with brightly painted wooden animals and calliope music was once part of Mountain Park, an amusement park on the side of Mt. Tom, and was moved to Holyoke Heritage Park when Mountain Park closed in 1987. The Merry-Go-Round will be open Monday, December 26 through Friday, December 30 from 12pm-4pm. If you can, please bring new mittens, gloves, scarves, or hats for their “Warming Tree” in support of Providence Ministries. 413-538-9838. 221 Appleton Street. Holyoke, MA. (<$)

Wednesday, December 28, 1pm-4pm
ART STUDIES/MUSEUM ADVENTURES
Artistic activities help kids to express themselves and think creatively while working on their fine motor skills. More advanced art projects take a great deal of patience and perseverance. For the December school break, kids are invited to visit the Clark Art Institute! In addition to exploring the galleries and engaging in artistic crafts such as snow globe making, families can participate in winter themed activities including as snowshoeing on the 140-acre campus. Complimentary admission is provided to one adult per child participating in the activities. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. (Adults $; Clark members, children 18 and younger, and students with valid ID FREE)

Wednesday, December 28, 1pm-4pm
ART STUDIES/ANIMATION
Cartoons have evolved over the decades from comic strips and comic books, to animations for television and movies. Do your children enjoy cartoons? Bring them to the Norman Rockwell Museum to create their own! Animator Scott Lincoln will teach participants how to develop characters and storylines! Monday, December 26, through Friday, December 30, there will be drop-in art activities inspired by the current exhibition, Hanna-Barbera: The Architects of Saturday Morning. This program is free with museum admission. 413-298-4100. 9 Glendale Road. Stockbridge, MA. ($. College students with ID <$. Ages 6-18 <$. Under 5 and museum members FREE)

Wednesday, December 28, 1pm-4pm
HERBAL REMEDIES/NEW ENGLAND HISTORY
You can discover useful herbal remedies for common ailments, by studying the medical practices of Native Americans and Colonists. Historically, people have turned to nature to fix issues sucha s coughs, headaches, and insomnia. Learn how to concoct herbal remedies this year to ease winter colds. This program is best suited for ages fourteen and up.
Mission House, Stockbridge For more information please call 413-298-3239 ex 3016. Main Street. Stockbridge, MA. ($)

Wednesday, December 28, 3:30pm
FAMILY THEATER/MARIONETTES
Puppets can offer open-ended, creative play, and give children of all ages the opportunity to re-create favorite stories or new tales. Puppets can be simple or complex, purchased or hand-made. You can get your child inspired by the potential of puppetry and marionettes, by taking them to the Jack and the Beanstalk Marionette Show. There will be holiday refreshments during the performance of this classic children’s story at Ventfort Hall. 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street. Lenox, MA. (Adults $; Ages 4-12 <$; three and under FREE)

Wednesday, December 28, 6pm
FAMILY FILM
Roald Dahl is one of the most popular children’s authors of the 20th century, and also an accomplished writer of short stories for adults. His 1982 children’s book The BFG tells the story of a friendship between an orphaned child named Sophie, and the Big Friendly Giant. Many of Dahl’s stories speak to the fears and insecurities of childhood; his young characters evade danger and outsmart bigger, stronger characters in clever ways. You can see the 2016 film adaptation of The BFG (rated PG) at the Sunderland Public Library. Afterwards, you could grab a Roald Dahl story for yourself, for your child, or both. 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

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Thursday, December 29, 2016

Storyhour & Playgroups: Agawam, Amherst, Athol, Belchertown, East Longmeadow, Florence, Gill, Greenfield, Hatfield, Huntington, Lee, Lenox, Millers Falls, Montague, Northampton, Sheffield, South Hadley, and Turners Falls.

Thursday, December 29, 10am-2pm
AVIATION
Keep learning this December school vacation week, at the New England Air Museum. You can bring your entire family to learn about engineering and New England history through the lens of of aviation. The museum is offering fun family activities on Monday December 26th through Friday December 30th. Visitors can explore three giant exhibit hangars filled with historic aircraft, and experience the wonders of flight through hands-on activities. Visitors can also experience flight simulations in the Virtual Flight Center. (The Virtual Flight Center is open to visitors ages 10 and older and a $5.00 fee person fee applies for a 30 minute flight.) 860-623-330. 36 Perimeter Road. Windsor Locks, CT. (Adult $; Ages 4-11 and seniors <$; age 3 and under FREE)

Thursday, December 29, 10am-4pm
ANIMAL STUDIES/TRACKING
How can you track animals when they are hiding away for the winter? This Great Falls Discovery Center program, “Where are all the Animals Hiding?” will teach youth participants about seasonal habits of local species. Kids will learn clues for finding animals’ secret winter homes. There will be activities and crafts at the front Welcome Desk. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, December 29, 10am-5pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES
During school vacation week, you can keep your child learning by bringing the whole family to the Springfield Museums. In the science museum, the exhibition Holiday Magic: Gingerbread Competition you can explore the gingerbread creations produced by local bakeries, schools, adults and kids, and vote for your favorites! On Thursday, December 29, you can see Tanglewood Marionettes perform their show Perseus and Medusa. There will also be Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle themed activities such as face painting. Kids can also meet real turtles from 11am-2pm. Visit the museum website for a full list of activities. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. ($. Ages 3-17 <$. Children under two FREE)

Thursday, December 29, 11am, 1pm, and 3pm
FAMILY THEATER/MARIONETTES
This December school vacation week, you and your child can learn New England history at the Old Sturbridge Village and catch a marionette performance of a classic children’s story. The award-winning company, The National Marionette Theatre, has been entertaining audiences with its productions for more than forty years. You can choose from four different 50 minute productions: Pinocchio on December 28, Sleeping Beauty on December 29, Peter and the Wolf on December 30, or Hansel and Gretel on December 31. For an additional five dollars you will be granted admission to explore Old Sturbridge Village. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. (Tickets <$; Museum admission <$)

Thursday, December 29, 12pm-4pm
MOVEMENT
Some kids love, and benefit from, vestibular input. This term refers to our detection of motion, which is connected to the inner ear. All movement affects vestibular receptors, but some activities such as spinning, swinging, and hanging upside down, are particularly intense. The Holyoke Merry Go Round, known as “Holyoke’s Happiness Machine,” is a sensory treat for the young and old. This antique carousel with brightly painted wooden animals and calliope music was once part of Mountain Park, an amusement park on the side of Mt. Tom, and was moved to Holyoke Heritage Park when Mountain Park closed in 1987. The Merry-Go-Round will be open Monday, December 26 through Friday, December 30 from 12pm-4pm. If you can, please bring new mittens, gloves, scarves, or hats for their “Warming Tree” in support of Providence Ministries. 413-538-9838. 221 Appleton Street. Holyoke, MA. (<$)

Thursday, December 29, 1pm-4pm
ART STUDIES/MUSEUM ADVENTURES
Artistic activities help kids to express themselves and think creatively while working on their fine motor skills. More advanced art projects take a great deal of patience and perseverance. For the December school break, kids are invited to visit the Clark Art Institute! In addition to exploring the galleries and engaging in artistic crafts such as snow globe making, families can participate in winter themed activities including as snowshoeing on the 140-acre campus. Complimentary admission is provided to one adult per child participating in the activities. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. (Adults $; Clark members, children 18 and younger, and students with valid ID FREE)

Thursday, December 29, 1pm-4pm
ART STUDIES/ANIMATION
Cartoons have evolved over the decades from comic strips and comic books, to animations for television and movies. Do your children enjoy cartoons? Bring them to the Norman Rockwell Museum to create their own! Animator Scott Lincoln will teach participants how to develop characters and storylines! Monday, December 26, through Friday, December 30, there will be drop-in art activities inspired by the current exhibition, Hanna-Barbera: The Architects of Saturday Morning. This program is free with museum admission. 413-298-4100. 9 Glendale Road. Stockbridge, MA. ($. College students with ID <$. Ages 6-18 <$. Under 5 and museum members FREE)

Thursday, December 29, 3pm
CHRISTMAS/LIVING HISTORY
Have you ever heard of the term “chatelaine?” It is the feminine version of a castellan. Chatelaine refers to the head of a large household, a woman of many domestic duties. Mrs. George Morgan, known as Sarah to her friends and family, was chatelaine to one of Lenox’s greatest cottages, and she invites you and your family to tea! Actress Anne Undeland will be playing Mrs. Morgan at Ventfort Hall’s Christmas tea event, set in 1894. Reservations are required. Call 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street. Lenox, MA. ($$)

Thursday, December 29, 5:30pm-7:30pm
KWANZAA
Kwanzaa, a celebration of African communities across the globe, is celebrated over the course of a week. There are seven guiding principles to the holiday: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith. These principles are represented by symbolic lighting of seven candles. Women of color are invited to celebrate and discuss the seven principles of Kwanzaa with a panel of community members at the Whitney Center for the Arts. There will be drumming and dinner. 413-443-0289. 42 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA. (DONATION)

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Friday, December 30, 2016

Storyhour & Playgroups: Amherst, Belchertown, Cummington, East Longmeadow, Easthampton, Florence, Granby, Great Barrington, Greenfield, Hadley, Housatonic, Longmeadow, Monson, Northampton, Pelham, Shutesbury, South Hadley, Stockbridge, and Sunderland.

Friday, December 30, 10am-2pm
AVIATION
Keep learning this December school vacation week, at the New England Air Museum. You can bring your entire family to learn about engineering and New England history through the lens of of aviation. The museum is offering fun family activities on Monday December 26th through Friday December 30th. Visitors can explore three giant exhibit hangars filled with historic aircraft, and experience the wonders of flight through hands-on activities. Visitors can also experience flight simulations in the Virtual Flight Center. (The Virtual Flight Center is open to visitors ages 10 and older and a $5.00 fee person fee applies for a 30 minute flight.) 860-623-330. 36 Perimeter Road. Windsor Locks, CT. (Adult $; Ages 4-11 and seniors <$; age 3 and under FREE)

Friday, December 30, 10am-4pm
ANIMAL STUDIES/TRACKING
How can you track animals when they are hiding away for the winter? This Great Falls Discovery Center program, “Where are all the Animals Hiding?” will teach youth participants about seasonal habits of local species. Kids will learn clues for finding animals’ secret winter homes. There will be activities and crafts at the front Welcome Desk. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Friday, December 30, 10am-5pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES
During school vacation week, you can keep your child learning by bringing the whole family to the Springfield Museums. In the science museum, the exhibition Holiday Magic: Gingerbread Competition you can explore the gingerbread creations produced by local bakeries, schools, adults and kids, and vote for your favorites! On Friday, December 30, you can attend Puppet Showplace Theater’s “Cardboard Explosion,” a show which relies on a cardboard set and lots of audience participation. Visit the museum website for a full list of activities. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. ($. Ages 3-17 <$. Children under two FREE)

Friday, December 30, 11am, 1pm, and 3pm
FAMILY THEATER/MARIONETTES
This December school vacation week, you and your child can learn New England history at the Old Sturbridge Village and catch a marionette performance of a classic children’s story. The award-winning company, The National Marionette Theatre, has been entertaining audiences with its productions for more than forty years. You can choose from four different 50 minute productions: Pinocchio on December 28, Sleeping Beauty on December 29, Peter and the Wolf on December 30, or Hansel and Gretel on December 31. For an additional five dollars you will be granted admission to explore Old Sturbridge Village. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. (Tickets <$; Museum admission <$)

Friday, December 30, 11:30am-1:30pm
ICE SKATING
One benefit to homeschooling your children is that the schedule can sometimes allow greater flexibility for your child to explore their interests during school hours. The Mullins Center at UMass Amherst invites homeschooling families to skate at discounted prices. All children school age and younger are invited. Adults must be accompanied by children. Parents receive free admission and skate rental when accompanying children. Cash only. Commonwealth Avenue. Amherst, MA. (<$)

Friday, December 30, 12pm-2pm
KWANZAA
On the day after Christmas, for those who celebrate Kwanzaa, the holidays are just beginning! Kwanzaa was created to connect African American communities across the globe and honor these communities’ cultural history. The holiday takes place from December 26 to January 1. The Association of Black Business and Professionals in conjunction with the City of Springfield Mayor’s Office will be hosting a Kwanzaa celebration, inviting community members to participate in a candle lighting ceremony and hear speakers. These speakers will address the present circumstances of the African American community. UMass Center at Springfield. 1500 Main Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, December 30, 12pm-4pm
MOVEMENT
Some kids love, and benefit from, vestibular input. This term refers to our detection of motion, which is connected to the inner ear. All movement affects vestibular receptors, but some activities such as spinning, swinging, and hanging upside down, are particularly intense. The Holyoke Merry Go Round, known as “Holyoke’s Happiness Machine,” is a sensory treat for the young and old. This antique carousel with brightly painted wooden animals and calliope music was once part of Mountain Park, an amusement park on the side of Mt. Tom, and was moved to Holyoke Heritage Park when Mountain Park closed in 1987. The Merry-Go-Round will be open Monday, December 26 through Friday, December 30 from 12pm-4pm. If you can, please bring new mittens, gloves, scarves, or hats for their “Warming Tree” in support of Providence Ministries. 413-538-9838. 221 Appleton Street. Holyoke, MA. (<$)

Friday, December 30, 1pm-4pm
ART STUDIES/MUSEUM ADVENTURES
Artistic activities help kids to express themselves and think creatively while working on their fine motor skills. More advanced art projects take a great deal of patience and perseverance. For the December school break, kids are invited to visit the Clark Art Institute! In addition to exploring the galleries and engaging in artistic crafts such as snow globe making, families can participate in winter themed activities including as snowshoeing on the 140-acre campus. Complimentary admission is provided to one adult per child participating in the activities. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. (Adults $; Clark members, children 18 and younger, and students with valid ID FREE)

Friday, December 30, 1pm-4pm
ART STUDIES/ANIMATION
Cartoons have evolved over the decades from comic strips and comic books, to animations for television and movies. Do your children enjoy cartoons? Bring them to the Norman Rockwell Museum to create their own! Animator Scott Lincoln will teach participants how to develop characters and storylines! Monday, December 26, through Friday, December 30, there will be drop-in art activities inspired by the current exhibition, Hanna-Barbera: The Architects of Saturday Morning. This program is free with museum admission. 413-298-4100. 9 Glendale Road. Stockbridge, MA. ($. College students with ID <$. Ages 6-18 <$. Under 5 and museum members FREE)

Friday, December 30, 3:30pm
FAMILY THEATER/MARIONETTES
Puppets can offer open-ended, creative play, and give children of all ages the opportunity to re-create favorite stories or new tales. Puppets can be simple or complex, purchased or hand-made. You can get your child inspired by the potential of puppetry and marionettes, by taking them to the Jack and the Beanstalk Marionette Show. There will be holiday refreshments during the performance of this classic children’s story at Ventfort Hall. 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street. Lenox, MA. (Adults $; Ages 4-12 <$; three and under FREE)

Friday, December 30, 6pm-8:30pm
NEW YEAR
 You can celebrate the New Year without staying up late on the 31st. Families are invited to this early celerbation, “A Fond Farewell to the Old,” at William Cullen Bryant Homestead. You can learn about history by playing 19th century parlor games and touring the Homestead’s decorated rooms. Enjoy hot cocoa during a reading of Bryant’s poetry. For information call The Trustees at 413.628.4485 x3. 207 Bryant Road. Cummington, 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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