Suggested Events for January 21-27, 2017

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Hilltown Families has provided us with a place to find events, read thought provoking articles, and linked us to local resources. I love this website! Thanks so much!” – Melissa Power-Greene (Northampton, MA)

“Hilltown Families has provided us with a place to find events, read thought provoking articles, and linked us to local resources. I love this website! Thanks so much!” – Melissa Power-Greene (Northampton, 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.

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Hilltown Families Events

Hilltown Families is hosting a new Service-Learning Micro-Event Series featuring “Acts of Kindness” volunteer stations for families at multiple locations this winter! The first Service-Learning Micro-Event will take place on Saturday, January 21, 2017 at the Amherst Winter’s Farmers’ Market (Amherst Regional Middle School, 170 Chestnut Street). Families will have an opportunity to stop by our pop-up volunteer station anytime between 10am-2pm to create handmade valentines to be distributed to seniors in the community.  If interested in volunteering to run the station for a 60-minute block, please sign up here (sign-up is first come, first served)!

It’s that time of the year again for the Hilltown Families Annual Handmade Valentine Swap! For the past nine years Hilltown Families has coordinated a community Handmade Valentine Swap — and we’re doing it again! Making handmade valentines is a great way to push against the commercialization of yet another holiday, while being creative with your family and friends. JOIN US! It’s free to sign up and open to all families in western Massachusetts! Last year our community generated over 1,550 handmade valentines! Let’s do it again! Deadline to sign-up is Wed. Feb 1st!

Saturday, February 4, from 10am-12noon at Flywheel Arts Collective, Hilltown Families and the Flywheel Arts Collective are continuing the Saturday Morning Music Party series with a breakfast bash featuring food, dancing, and diversions for kids! During a free breakfast of fresh pancakes, juice, and fruit, you can craft handmade Valentines with the Easthampton Parents Center. Then we’ll enjoy special guests, DandyLions Garden, a musical act for kids and inner children alike. We’ll round out the morning with DJ Youthelectronix for the “best ever dance party before noon!” This is a fundraiser for both Flywheel & Hilltown Families, with a “pay what you can” admission to attend with your family. For more information, email info@hilltownfamilies.org.

Bulletin Board

Jan & Feb

Start the weekend off right with Amherst Cinema’s $5 Family Films Series on Saturday mornings in January and February! The diverse lineup—including animated, live action, documentary, musical, and foreign films—is sure to delight kids big and small. Travel to Neverland with Hook, visit an enchanted forest in The Secret of Kells, escape vicious farmers with Fantastic Mr. Fox, and make new friends with My Neighbor Totoro. Go on an adventure with Buttercup and Westly in The Princess Bride, laugh along with Buster Keaton in The General, and meet classic cartoon characters in The Looney Tunes Revue. Take flight with Winged Migration and sing from the mountaintops with The Sound of Music. For more information, visit www.amherstcinema.org/family.

Open House: Jan 21

Open House! Nonotuck Community School. Jan. 21, Sat. 10am-12:30pm. Come learn about Nonotuck’s early childhood program for children 15 months-5 years. Tours for grown-ups and activities for children. Applications are being accepted for summer/September. 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. Open 7:30am–5:30pm. Find out why Nonotuck has been serving the Northampton community for 40 years! Conveniently located at 221 Riverside Dr., Florence in Northampton. For more information visit www.nonotuck.org or contact them at 413-586-5996 or info@nonotuck.org.

Open House: Jan 21

Open House at the Montessori School of Northampton: On Saturday, January 21, from 10:30am until 12noon, the Montessori School of Northampton will host an open house at their 51 Bates Street location. Families of students seeking admission for September 2017 are invited to attend and find out more about Montessori education and the programs offered. The school enrolls students from 18 months (Toddler) through 14 years (Middle School) and is celebrating its 40th year with the construction of a new Upper School building. Come visit and learn why “Montessori makes the difference!” in a child’s life. Snow date: January 28. For more information, please call 413-586-4538 x103 or visit northamptonmontessori.org.

Open House: Jan 28

The Common School: Community, collaboration, creativity, social justice, inclusivity, environmental education- Come learn how these words are put into action at their winter Open House on Saturday, January 28, from 10am-12noon. Play in their classrooms, meet their teachers, chat with current parents, and tour their beautiful campus situated amongst 140 acres of conservation land on Larch Hill in Amherst. Light refreshments provided. Questions? Contact Director of Admissions, Dana Kadish at outreach@commonschool.org or visit www.commonschool.org.

Open House: Jan 21

Makerspace at The Hartsbrook School − Learn a new skill or craft! Make a design in 3D software (TinkerCAD) and print your creations, or experiment with Ozobots, Little Bits electronics and Sphero. Create a chain mail craft, learn to knit or take a fine arts class. Children and adults are welcome. This event is also an open house where interested families can learn more about the school, the academics, the practical arts and the land stewardship program. Experience Hartsbrook’s rich, hands-on teaching firsthand and imagine the possibilities for your child. Saturday, January 21st, 10am to 12noon. 193 Bay Road, Hadley, 413-586-1908, www.hartsbrook.org

Open House: Jan 29

Sunday, January 29th: Open House from 2-3:30pm at Smith College Center for Early Childhood Education (Fort Hill). Visit welcoming classroom environments, chat with teachers, and find out more about the Reggio Emilia-inspired curriculum. Providing engaging, intentional early experiences that support children in becoming lifelong learners, joyful investigators, and thoughtful citizens of the world. Fort Hill has dedicated visual arts and music teachers and studios, an emphasis on natural materials, and classroom experiences that nurture joy, curiosity, deep thinking, and imagination. Consider joining the Fort Hill family! Actively accepting applications for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers for 2017-2018. Contact forthill@smith.edu for information.

Open House: Jan 29

Cloverdale Cooperative Preschool invites new parents to an Open House on Sunday, January 29th, from 2:30-4pm. Cloverdale is located in back of the First Congregational Church on 130 Pine Street in Florence and is a half-day preschool with the option of STEAM focused extended day hours. Come find out about their new expanded hours starting next fall while spending time playing with your children in their engaging learning environment. Meet the teachers and some parents who will answer your questions about their program. For more information, visit www.cloverdalepreschool.com or call 413-586-1106 after 12:30pm.

Open House: Feb 5

Sunday, Feb. 5th: The Center School Admissions Open House, 2pm-4pm. The Center School is a preschool through 8th grade progressive school, serving Hampshire and Franklin counties. Prospective families are invited to explore the school on Sunday, Feb. 5th for a Birds-of-Prey themed Admissions Open House. Come early to enjoy a live Birds of Prey presentation with raptor rehabilitator Tom Ricardi from 1pm-2pm. Then, classrooms will be open and teachers will be offer bird-related activities for kids of all ages. Light refreshments will be available. The Center School has been offering rigorous education for deep thinkers and creative spirits for 35 years and is currently accepting applications for all ages, for fall of 2017. centerschool.net

Feb 20-24

Looking for something fun and creative for your kids during the February break? Check out Valley Performance Playground’s February Vacation Camp with Sarah Marcus and Felicia Sloin! This 1-week camp runs Monday, February 20 – Friday, February 24 from 9am-3pm and will feature theater games, singing, drumming, movement, and fun times with creative friends for students ages 7-11. Valley Performance Playground’s February Vacation Camp takes place at the Northampton Karate Studio, 320 Riverside Drive, in Florence. Cost: $250. Registration Deadline Feb 1. For more information, email sarahlaurenmarcus@gmail.com or visit online at www.facebook.com/valleyperformanceplayground.

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LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
January 21 – 27, 2017

SaturdaySunday
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Suggest an Event | Cultural 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, January 21, 2017

Hilltown Family Variety Show9-10am – HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW: Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.orgDavid Tobocman guest DJs with a Jazz for Kids show this week. It features some of his own swingin’ tunes as well as an in-studio performance of his “Lemonade School” story song. 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, January 21, 10am – 2pm
COMMUNITY SERVICE/VOLUNTEERING
Hilltown Families is hosting a new Service-Learning Micro-Event Series featuring “Acts of Kindness” volunteer stations for families at multiple locations this winter! The first Service-Learning Micro-Event will take place on Saturday, January 21, 2017 at the Amherst Winter’s Farmers’ Market (Amherst Regional Middle School, 170 Chestnut Street). Families will have an opportunity to stop by our pop-up volunteer station anytime between 10am-2pm to create handmade valentines to be distributed to seniors in the community.  If interested in volunteering to run the station for a 60-minute block, please sign up here (sign-up is first come, first served)! Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, January 21, 9am-12pm
ORNITHOLOGY/INTERGENERATIONAL
Watching and listening to identify birds helps you hone your awareness and learn about your local habitat. People of all ages are invited to a family birding event at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. Bring the family to one or all sessions which will take place on a monthly basis. Participants will discuss birding and have an outdoor lesson. Dress for the weather. Registration is required. Call 413-584-3009 to register by phone. 127 Combs Road. Easthampton, MA. (<$)

Saturday, January 21, 9:30am-12:30am
GUIDED HIKE/SNOWSHOE
Guided hikes combine nature studies education with exercise and time spent outdoors. On this guided hike to the summit of Lenox Mountain, you will gain tips for tracking wildlife and identifying trees by their bark. This knowledge will further enrich the time you spend on your own hikes. Bring snowshoes or microspikes, depending on the conditions. Snowshoes will be available to borrow for a fee. Ski poles are also recommended. Dress for cold. Bring water and a snack. Call 413-637-0320 for more information. Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. 472 West Mountain Road. Lenox, MA. (Non members $; members <$)

Saturday, January 21, 10am
FAMILY FILM
Magic, fantasy, a grand quest, and Celtic mythology all come together in the 2009 movie, The Secret of Kells. The film’s main character, Brendan, lives in a medieval outpost which is under siege. Brendan embarks on a quest in search of secret wisdom. This French-Belgian-Irish has won several awards. You can attend a morning screening at a special price as part of Amherst Cinema’s family film series. 413- 253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (<$)

Saturday, January 21, 10am
GUIDED NATURE HIKE/TRACKING
Although many species of local wildlife take shelter, hibernate, or migrate during winter months, fresh blankets of snow can make animal tracking easier. The West Springfield Environmental Committee invites people of all ages to look for signs of deer, fox, coyote, squirrel, raccoon, beaver, otter and other animals on this guided hike. This hike will take about two hours and the pace will be slow. Environmental historian and naturalist Dietrich Schlobohm will lead the group, meeting at Four Corners in Bear Hole. All ages are welcome. Registration is required. Call 413-788-4125. West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, January 21, 10am
OUTDOOR ADVENTURES
Introduce your child to nature confidently on a “First Child in the Woods: Caregiver and Infant/Toddler Walk” at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. Exploring nature promotes creativity and problem-solving and is a great bonding activity for families. This one hour guided hike will give you the skills and confidence to explore nature with your child on your own. Dress for the weather. For ages birth-5. Registration is required. 413-584-3009. 127 Combs Road. Easthampton, MA. (<$ Members; $ Non members; child FREE)

Saturday, January 21, 10am-12pm
MAKERSPACE/EDUCATION
Learn a new skill or craft! Make a design in 3D software (TinkerCAD) and print your creations, or experiment with Ozobots, Little Bits electronics and Sphero in the Makerspace at the Hartsbrook School. Create a chain mail craft, learn to knit or take a fine arts class. Children and adults are welcome. This event is also an open house where interested families can learn more about the school, the academics, the practical arts and the land stewardship program. Experience Hartsbrook’s rich, hands-on teaching firsthand and imagine the possibilities for your child. 413-586-1908. 193 Bay Road. Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, January 21, 10am-12:30pm
PARENTING/EDUCATION
Come learn about Nonotuck’s early childhood program for children 15 months-5 years at an open house. There will be tours for grown-ups and activities for children. Applications are being accepted for summer/September. Nonotuck has well-appointed classrooms, daily access to indoor and outdoor play spaces, an art studio, yoga instruction, gardening and more. Curriculum is play-based and inspired by progressive early childhood education theory. Open 7:30am–5:30pm. Find out why Nonotuck has been serving the Northampton community for 40 years! For more information visit or contact them at 413-586-5996 or info@nonotuck.org. 221 Riverside Drive. Florence, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, January 21, 10am-5pm
BIOLOGY/MICROBES
The human body is like an ecosystem. Each one of us is home to trillions of organisms! Known as microbes, these non-human organisms thrive in various areas of the body. In the mouth, for example, there are over four hundred identified types of bacteria. The word “bacteria” often has a negative connotation; we often hear of harmful bacteria which makes us sick. We need bacteria to survive, however. You can learn about your own body and explore the concept of microbes at the new Springfield Museums exhibit, Zoo in You. You will learn all about types of bacteria, archaea, fungi, and viruses, and the ways in which your body affects them, through interactive and bilingual programs for all ages. Visit the Springfield Museums website for a full schedule of family programs which will take place on January 21, the opening day for Zoo in You. Springfield, MA. ($. Ages 3-17 <$. Children under two FREE)

Saturday, January 21, 10:30am – 12pm
OPEN HOUSE
Open House at the Montessori School of Northampton: On Saturday, January 21, from 10:30am until 12noon, the Montessori School of Northampton will host an open house at their 51 Bates Street location. Families of students seeking admission for September 2017 are invited to attend and find out more about Montessori education and the programs offered. The school enrolls students from 18 months (Toddler) through 14 years (Middle School) and is celebrating its 40th year with the construction of a new Upper School building. Come visit and learn why “Montessori makes the difference!” in a child’s life. Snow date: January 28. For more information, please call 413-586-4538 x103 or visit northamptonmontessori.org.

Saturday, January 21, 10:30am-12pm
SCIENCE/WEATHER
Snow opens up a world of opportunities for kids, from creative free play, to learning about chemistry and meteorology, to animal tracking, to crafts! This STEAMcraft at the Meekins Library will teach kids science through the lens of snow, and invite them to use winter as inspiration for creativity: color icy orbs, create a frozen bubble, paint an icy print, and more in this hands-on learning program. 413-268-7472. 2 Williams Street. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, January 21, 11am
CHINESE CULTURE/CRAFTS
The Chinese New Year is coming up on Saturday, January 28. Some Chinese New Year celebrations include a reunion dinner with family, cleansing of the home, and decorating windows and doors with red paper-cut artwork. Kids will be celebrating at the Granby Library by making a Dancing Dragon puppet, a Chinese mask, a lantern, and lucky red envelopes. Participants will also practice writing Chinese letters and discover their Chinese Zodiac animal. Wear red if you have some. Registration is required. 413-467-3320. 297 East State Street. Granby, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, January 21, 11am
FAMILY MUSIC
Do your children like to dance and sing? Bring them to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art for a family concert featuring Shiprock & Anchordog. local musician and teacher Evan Curran founded Shiprock & Anchordog as a multimedia project and band, providing music and storytelling to families. The group’s performances focus on themes of inclusion, friendship, and adventure. 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. (<$; infants 0-12 months FREE)

Saturday, January 21, 12pm
ORNITHOLOGY
You can attract birds to your backyard with feeders, bird houses, and other helpful items for birds. Learn how to make bird balls to hang outside your home, and bring home your own, at this Make It Springfield event. Then, you can learn about ecology by studying the birds which share our local habitat. The program host, Ms.Vicki Mann, is an expert on fun crafts with reused items that would otherwise end up in the landfill. All materials will be provided. Allergy warning: Peanut butter will be utilized. 168 Worthington Street. Springfield, MA. (DONATION)

Saturday, January 21, 12:30pm
POLITICAL ACTIVISM/CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
The women’s march on Washington aims to be a statement of solidarity with oppressed populations who have been insulted and threatened during this past election cycle, including “immigrants of all statuses, Muslims and those of diverse religious faiths, people who identify as LGBTQIA, Native people, Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, survivors of sexual assault” (quoted from the Women’s March website). This upcoming event has inspired hundreds of smaller “Sister Events.” If you can’t make it to Washington or any of the larger cities participating, you can still stand in solidarity at the Greenfield rally. The rally will also provide information on concrete actions you can take to help protect your rights and those of vulnerable populations in our community. Gather on the Greenfield Town Common (Court Square). Main Street and Federal Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, January 21, 1pm
ORNITHOLOGY
Learning to identify birds by their calls opens up a whole new world of bird identification. Listening for bird calls and songs connects you to nature through a different sense. This can be helpful at times when a bird flies by so quickly you can’t identify it by sight. Bird calls also convey meaning, as birds make different sounds to indicate distress, to claim territory, to seek a mate, and more. Interestingly, bird songs evolve socially. Although species sing the same song, individual birds learn songs from their fathers and dialects develop regionally. Birdsong expert Donald Kroodsma committed ten weeks to studying ornithology across ten different states on a bicycling journey from from the Atlantic to the Pacific. He will providing unique insights into ornithology, travel, and nature studies, in this talk, “Listening to a Continent Sing,” at the Great Falls Discovery Center. All are welcome. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, January 21, 1pm-4pm
NATURE STUDIES/ART STUDIES
Keeping a nature journal combines nature studies with writing and artistic skills. If you enjoy journaling, drawing, or spending time in nature, come to Bartholomew’s Cobble for a nature journaling workshop. artist and writer Leslie Watkins will guide participants as they explore the woods of Bartholomew’s Cobble for inspiration. Writers and artists of all experience levels are welcome. For more information please call 413-298-3239 ex 3016. 117 Cooper Hill Road. Sheffield, MA. (Member $; Non member $$)

Saturday, January 21, 2pm
STEM/SCIENCE
Sound is caused by vibrations, which is why loud music and other sounds can be felt as well as heard. The volume and pitch of sounds depend on amounts of energy. Join Ralph and Stephen in the Forbes Library children’s department to teach your kids about acoustics! Music lovers and junior scientists alike will enjoy this program. Registration is preferred. 413-587-1010. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, January 21, 2pm
LOCAL HISTORY
Shays’s Rebellion was a protest against lack of pay for veterans of the American Revolution, and the high taxation of farmers, many of whom were veterans. On January 25, 1787 Daniel Shays led a rebellion to capture the Springfield Arsenal. You can learn about this historic event in a lecture by author and professor emeritus Leonard Richards at Springfield Armory National Historic Site. Learn about this historic, local event in commemoration of the upcoming 230th anniversary of the rebellion. 413-734-8551. One Armory Square. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, January 21, 2pm
ANIMAL STUDIES/REPTILES
There aren’t many rattlesnakes living in New England, or the northeastern United States in general. One species which does reside here, the timber rattlesnake, is unfortunately endangered. It is also one of North America’s most dangerous snakes, with long venomous fangs. Join Berkshire Community College Professor Tom Tyning at the Berkshire Athenaeum to learn more about this snake’s habits and habitat. No registration is required. 413-499-9480. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, January 21, 2pm-3pm
FIBER ARTS/LOOM WEAVING
Weaving is an ancient and practical art form used to make yarn or fabric, to create clothing, blankets, tapestries, and other forms of fiber art. Looms are a tool for making weaving easier. Did you know that you can create your own cardboard loom? Teens and tweens are invited to learn about loom weaving in this craft event at the Jones Library. Participants can create an individual project or help work on a community project. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, January 21, 3pm
WOMEN HISTORY/IMMIGRATION
Historic house museums provide people with both historic objects and documents, as well as informational texts to put the objects in a personal context. Visiting a historic house museum can help you connect to history through imagining the daily lives of historic figures, and learning about history through tangible experience. Visit Ventfort Hall to learn about the impact “Irish Bridgets” have had on historic house museums, through a lecture. These Irish immigrant women worked as cooks, maids, and nannies in upper-class American homes. Scholar Dr. Margaret Lynch-Brennan will discuss her research on this demographic, and her new book, The Irish Bridget: Irish Immigrant Women in Domestic Service in America, 1840-1930. Reservations are recommended. 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street. Lenox, MA. ($$)

Saturday, January 21, 5pm-7pm
ORNITHOLOGY/LITERACY
Can you name an owl species native to Massachusetts? Jane Yolen, author of the classic book Owl Moon, will tell you about seven native owl species, at this Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary program. This event will also feature a magical shadow puppet presentation of Owl Moon, followed by a walk in the woods to call for owls. After the walk, participants will return indoors to warm up with a cup of hot chocolate and a snack. This program is suitable for children ages five to ten, and their caregivers. Registration is required. 413-584-3009. 127 Combs Road. Easthampton, MA. (<$)

Saturday, January 21, 7pm-9pm
GAMES/INTERGENERATIONAL
Family game nights are one way to get both parents and kids to put aside their work, and their screen-based entertainment, to spend time together. Simple games can challenge young kids to think critically, while harder games can challenge older children through friendly competition. Spice up your family game night by joining other families at Notchview. Notchview will provide classic games such as Battleship, Yahtzee, Boggle, Monopoly and Scrabble. Soup is included with the cost of a ticket. 83 Old Route 9. Windsor, MA. (<$)

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Sunday, January 22, 2017

Hilltown Family Variety Show7-8am – FAMILY RADIO: 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, to hear a rebroadcast of a favorite Doo-Wop Episode with Guest DJs, Michael & Tony Napolitano of Preschool of Rock. Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcast anytime – click here to see over 9 years of archived shows.

Sunday, January 22, 10am
ECOLOGY/SNOWSHOE
Join naturalist guide and Tamarack Hollow Director Aimee Gelinas for a guided snowshoe hike and educational program. You will learn about forest ecology, gain winter tracking skills, and learn to identify native trees and plants. This crash course in nature education is suitable for teens and adults. Email aimee@gaiaroots.com to register.This event will take place at the Tamarack Hollow Nature and Cultural Center. 1515 Savoy Hollow Road. Windsor, MA. (DONATION)

Sunday, January 22, 10am-12pm
ANIMAL STUDIES/TRACKING
Get your kids interested in learning about habitat and ecology through an outdoor adventure tracking wildlife such as deer, rabbits, mice, fox and birds. Participants at this family friendly event will learn to become nature detectives, honing their observational skills as they interpret the information hidden in animal tracks. Naturalist and tracker Dan Yacobellis will run this guided walk. From 12:30 through 3:30 there will be a more in-depth tracking program for adults and children 8 years and older, to look for more elusive animals such as the fisher cat and bobcat. This program is weather dependent, please call to confirm that the program is being held in the event of inclement weather.Reservations are required and space is limited. Ramblewild. 844-472-6253. 110 Brodie Mountain Road. Williamstown, MA. (<$)

Sunday, January 22, 12pm-2pm
LEGO/CREATIVE FREE PLAY
LEGOs are a great toy for expanding kids’ imaginations. Younger children can use them to build their motor skills and learn cause and effect, while older children can plan and execute ideas, collaborate, and express their creativity. They are also a great intergenerational toy for parents who want to play with their children. Ages four and up are invited to build with LEGOs at the M.N. Spear Memorial Library. 413-259-1213. 10 Cooleyville Road. Shutesbury, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, January 22, 12:30-2:30pm
PROGRAMMING
With the advent of computers and the internet came greater access to language translation software. Although these applications are not always perfect, they can help you to learn a foreign language when you get stuck on a word you don’t know. Language translation apps allow you to have a foreign language dictionary in your pocket, and often one which can translate between many different languages. You can learn how to build a mobile translation app at Holyoke Codes. Participants will use the app builder Thunkable. This event is appropriate for ages ten and up. 413- 552-4900. 100 Bigelow Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, January 22, 1:30pm-3:45pm
FILM STUDIES/JAPANESE CULTURE
Most films are narratives, revealing facets of the culture which produced them. Screening foreign films can teach you about various cultures values, customs, humor, fashion, language and more. You can explore Japanese culture through art and film at the Clark Art Institute. The Clark is hosting a free Sunday afternoon film series beginning on January 22, continuing on February 5 and February 26. The first film shown, The Makioka Sisters is an unrated 1983 movie adaptation of Junichiro Tanizaki’s novel, which follows four sisters in the late 1930s. Learn about the turbulent changes of the 1930s in Japan. This film series is presented in conjunction with the Clark’s Japanese Impressions exhibition. All films are in Japanese with English subtitles. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, January 22, 2pm
NEW ENGLAND HISTORY
The Townshend Acts placed taxes on items such as glass, lead, paints, paper, and tea in America, the revenue of which benefited English rule. Most people are familiar with the rebellions which ensued, including the Boston Massacre. Historic Deerfield is hosting a winter lecture series to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the Townshend Acts through an exploration of the politics of tea, consumer culture, and resistance. This first lecture, “Colonial Opposition and the Road to Revolution, 1763-1775,” will be presented by William M. Fowler, Distinguished Professor of History at Northeastern University. 413-774-5581. 80 Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, January 22, 2pm
JEWISH CULTURE/FILM STUDIES
Solomon Nunes Carvalho (1815-97) was a groundbreaking American photographer and artist. He studied portrait photographic with the daguerreotype method. He was also an observant Sephardic Jew. Learn more about this artistic figure, and the real-life western adventure story of his life, by viewing the 2015 film Carvalho’s Journey at the Yiddish Book Center. 413-256-4900. 1021 West Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

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Monday, January 23, 2017

Storyhour & Playgroups: East Longmeadow, Pelham & Whately

Monday, January 23, 10am
POLITICAL SCIENCE
Although you may be tired of thinking about the 2016 presidential election, reflecting upon and understanding election cycles is crucial to understanding the political process in this country. Prominent MSNBC news anchor Rachel Maddow will be offering her perspective and insights on the election in this lecture at Smith College. This talk is part of a Presidential Colloquium offering bipartisan political perspectives. The colloquium continues with republican strategist and CNN news anchor Ana Navarro on Tuesday, January 24. No tickets are required. John M. Greene Hall. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Monday, January 23, 10am-11:30am
LITERACY
Reading and comprehension of language are essential skills for functioning; these skills also open up a world of enjoyment through reading for pleasure. Parents can do a lot to encourage literacy in their children. Talking, singing, playing and reading with your child all build early reading skills. This program from the Collaborative for Educational Services will teach parents of children ages birth to five years fun activities to encourage literacy. Registration is required through the Collaborative for Educational Services website. For more information, call the Collaborative at 413-586-4900. This program will take place at the West Brookfield Elementary School. 89 N Main Street. West Brookfield, MA. (FREE)

Monday, January 23, 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 are accepted as well as contributions of non-perishable food items for local food banks encouraged. No reservations required. 413-528-2810. 15 Crissey Road. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

Monday, January 23, 7pm
FAMILY MUSIC/STORYTELLING
Local musician Tracy Grammer has been playing music professionally for two decades. She has toured with Joan Baez, and performed as one of Baez’s band members. In addition to her folk music, she engages with other art forms as a writer and storyteller. You can hear her perform for free at the Greenfield Public Library. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

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, January 24, 10am
POLITICAL SCIENCE
Although you may be tired of thinking about the 2016 presidential election, reflecting upon and understanding election cycles is crucial to understanding the political process in this country. republican strategist and CNN news anchor Ana Navarro will be offering her perspective and insights on the election in this lecture at Smith College. This talk is part of a Presidential Colloquium offering bipartisan political perspectives. John M. Greene Hall. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, January 24, 5:30pm-7pm
COMMUNITY MEAL/CULINARY
Winter is a great time to learn new recipes, and cook warm comfort foods for friends and family. Bring your favorite soup to the Buckland Public Library for Winter Soup night! January 24, February 7 and February 28 the library will be hosting this social, community meal program. Guests may bring bread, cheese and other tidbits. All are welcome. If you would like to bring soup on any of the nights, please call 413-625-8541. 30 Upper Street. Buckland, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, January 24, 6:30pm-7:30pm
ART STUDIES/WOODBLOCK PRINTS
Woodblock carving is an ancient method of printing and a popular type of Japanese artwork. Woodblock artist Hokusai will be at the Hubbard Memorial Library to teach kids ages eight and up about their art form and invite them to make woodblock prints of their own. Kids should dress in paint-appropriate clothing. Space is limited; please register at the Hubbard Memorial Library website. 413-583-3408. 24 Center Street. Ludlow, MA.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

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, January 25, 5:30pm-7:30pm
PARENTING
Parenting is a unique experience- profound, life-changing, beautiful, and frustrating- which can only be fully understood by others who are parents themselves. Come to a Parent Cafe for stories, commiseration, advice, and support from other parents. Childcare and a supper will be provided. Attendees will discuss topics such as transitions, sleeping, eating and mealtimes, social-emotional learning, and more. This event is open to parents with young children. Call the Early Childhood Office at 413-587-1471 for information and to register. Bridge Street School. 2 Parsons Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, January 25, 6:30pm-7:45pm
WRITING
Local author talks help build a thriving community of readers and writers. These talks can inspire writers as they meet authors, ask questions, and learn about various authors’ writing processes. Williamsburg residents Robert W. Barker and James F. Cahillane will be speaking about their latest books at the Meekins Library. Barker will be discussing his novel Nuclear Rogue, an adult thriller about stolen nuclear missiles. Cahillane will be discussing his work, The Pilot’s Satchel which relays dreams experienced following a ten-day induced sleep while waiting for major surgery. 413-268-7472. 2 Williams Street. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)

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Thursday, January 26, 2017

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, January 26, 12:15pm-1pm
ARCHITECTURE/LOCAL HISTORY
What can architecture teach us about local history? Preserved historic homes and furniture can lend insight to industrial history and daily life in various time periods. Springfield resident and historic preservationist Jim Boone restored his Victorian home, transforming it from a former rooming house to a period showplace. He will be giving a talk at the Springfield Museums, featuring before and after photos of the restoration process. Feel free to bring a lunch to enjoy during the lecture. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. (<$)

Thursday, January 26, 3:30pm-4:30pm
STEM/MAKERSPACE
Lying in the space between ideas and their physical manifestations, makerspaces cater to the creators among us, providing spaces within which to combine science, technology, engineering, art, and math (a combination widely known as STEAM) in order to produce… who knows what! Even young children can engage with these concepts. Monthly Maker Lab at the West Springfield Public Library invites youth ages six and up to explore the Imagination Station. This month, participants will be using dough for creative free play and projects. No registration is needed. 413-736-4561. 200 Park Street. West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

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Friday, January 27, 2017

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, January 27, 12pm-2pm
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, January 27, 3:30pm-4:30pm
SCIENCE/WEATHER
The white coating that covers our landscape here in New England not only offers opportunities for winter sports, but it is also a great creative medium that can support science studies too! The chemistry behind snowflakes and frost are just waiting to be discovered. Snowflakes are a beautiful form of crystals, each one showing off a microscopic symmetrical design of spears, points, indents, and cutouts. Youth ages nine and up can learn about the science behind ice, crystals, and snow, at the West Springfield Public Library. Please register. 413-736-4561. 200 Park Street. West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, January 27, 7pm
HEALTH/THEATER
It’s no great revelation that many Americans worry about their weight and their appearance. According to IBISWorld, weight loss services are a three billion dollar a year industry. Dissatisfaction with one’s body image is a mental as well as a physical health issue, and it affects even young children. Parents can help their children by modeling healthy eating habits and a positive self-image (but this is easier said than done!). Susan Cummings’s one-woman show, “Adventures in Liking My Looks: ‘Normal’ Must Be So Boring!” provides humorous and poignant commentary on the journey to achieve a positive body image. Catch her performance at the Arms Library. 413-625-0306. Main Street and Bridge Street. Shelburne Falls, MA. (FREE)

Friday, January 27, 7pm
POETRY/HORTICULTURE
In addition to being a poet, Amherst native Emily Dickinson was an avid gardener. Her work in the garden and her general admiration for the natural world inspired many of her poems. Over one third of her poems allude in some way to nature, plants, animals, or gardening. Geraldine Barbeau will be presenting “A Visit with Emily Dickinson,” at the Storrowton Village Museum. Barbeau will read several of Dickinson’s garden-related poems, and relay some of the local history of Dickinson’s life in Amherst. Space is limited and reservations are encouraged but not required. Tickets will be available at the door. This event is weather permitting. If the weather is questionable, please call the Village for details prior to your departure. 413-205-5051. 1305 Memorial Avenue. West Springfield, MA. (<$)

Friday, January 27, 7pm
STORYTELLING/ART STUDIES
Story slams connect strangers through the art of compelling narratives and oration. Story slams often invite professionals as well as amateur storytellers to relay their experiences. The Clark Art Institute invites you to tell and/or hear stories, centered around the theme of “gifts.” Storytellers are invited to tell the tales of gifts that enriched their lives, surprised them, or impacted them in some other meaningful way. A panel of judges will provide feedback and prizes. This event celebrates gifts the museum has received: sixty-three woodblock now on view in the exhibition Japanese Impressions: Color Woodblock Prints. Be sure to check out the exhibition in addition to attending the story slam! 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Friday, January 27, 8pm
DANCE STUDIES
Does your child like to dance? Get them inspired by taking them to a youth dance performance by 16-20 year-old international students of the American Ballet Theatre Studio Company. You will see two premiers of never-before-seen pieces, as well as a performance of Antony Tudor’s 1979 show, “The Leaves are Fading.” Witness choreography from past and present at Mount Holyoke College’s Kendall Hall Studio Theatre. 50 College Street. South Hadley, MA. ($; Students and seniors <$)

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Hilltown Families’ list of Weekly Suggested Events is supported in part by a grant from the Amherst, Chester, Chesterfield, Conway, Erving, Holyoke, Montague, Pelham, Rowe, Russell, Ware, and Warwick Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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1 Comment

  1. Anne said,

    January 22, 2017 at 10:51 pm

    Homeschool Ice Skating this Friday, Jan 27, 2017 is from 11am to 2pm (special 3 hour skate) for only $5 per child rentals included and their adult they bring skates for free and no cost for rentals.

    Bring coins for the meters. One quarter will give you 10 minutes of time. if you plan to come for an hour or more get lots of coins! 12 quarters equals two hours of time!

    Friday, Jan 27, 2017 is from 11am to 2pm

    http://www.mullinscenter.com/community-ice-rink-1/home-school-skating-informaton

    Like


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