Suggested Events for February 4th-10th, 2017

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Hilltown Families keeps us busy doing all sorts of fun and amazing things every weekend… and there’s no time left for winter blues!” – Erin Klett (Greenfield, MA)

“(Hilltown Families) provides countless ideas for family friendly activities and has helped me to show my 4 children what a rich, culturally diverse and supportive community we live in.” – Kimberly P. (Westhampton, 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! Click HERE to find out more.

HILLTOWN FAMILIES EVENT

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

Open House: Feb 8

Oasis Camp offers specialty programs for children from 3 years old to 6th grade! With amazing facilities at Smith College, Oasis features mature staff with low camper/staff ratio and a warm environment where kids can participate in activities tailored to their interests! The Early Start camp for kids 3 years to Kindergarten offers sports, daily Red Cross swim, arts, dance, theater and a Ready for September enrichment program. The Traditional Camp (1st- 6th graders) is designed to provide campers with sports crafts, theater, dance and Red Cross Instructional and Recreational Swim to further develop skills and confidence. Contact: 800-317-1392, www.oasischildren.com.

Open House: Feb 4

The Campus School at Smith College. Prospective kindergarten through grade 6 students and their parents are invited to an open house on Saturday, February 4, from 9:30am-11:30 am at the school on Prospect Street. Tour the school. Meet teachers, staff, and parents. For more information, contact the admission office at 413-585-3270 or visit their website, www.smith.edu/sccs.

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

Love is in the air! But what does that mean? Valentine’s Day is a special opportunity for parents to support local culture and express kindness to each other by shopping at a local business, buying flowers from an artisan florist, take museum trips, volunteer your time for others, or relax amongst fellow adults while the sitter takes over for the evening. But it isn’t just about hearts and chocolates! Featured here are three evening community events parents can engage in for a special Parents’ Night Out in celebration of Valentine’s Day, including a ticket giveaway for two pair of tickets to see a show at the Calvin Theater!

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.

Featured Winter & Spring Classes in Western MA

What are your child’s interests? What are your interests? This fall there are a number of after-school, homeschool, evening, and weekend classes to choose from to supplement and support the interests of your family! Check out our growing list of classes, programs, open houses and even auditions for this fall in our dedicated post, 2017 Winter & Spring Classes, Auditions & Open Houses in Western MA, and find the perfect activity for your child, teen, and even lifelong learners! — Have a class you’d like to add to this list? Click here to find out how to have your class, lessons, program, auditions, and open house included.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
February 4th-10th, 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, February 4th, 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.org. Join us this week at the Hilltown Family Variety Show where guest DJ Flor Bromley, a children’s singer-songwriter, storyteller and puppeteer, will take you on an adventure through the art of storytelling. 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, February 4, all day
PLACEMAKING/WINTER CARNIVAL
Winter brings with it the opportunity for lots of sun family activities like sledding and enjoying warm meals of comfort food. The Greenfield Winter Carnival welcomes the entire community to celebrate the season by enjoying or participating in ice carving, the cardboard sled race, a chili cook-off, cribbage tournament and more. Admire the parade of lights on Main Street and fireworks over Poet Seat Tower. Visit the Greenfield Recreation website for more details. Various locations. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, February 4, 9:30am-11:30am
PARENTING/EDUCATION
Choosing the right school for your child’s educational and personal needs can be a tough decision. It helps to take a tour, meet teachers and staff, and ask questions in person. Prospective kindergarten through grade 6 students and their parents are invited to an open house at The Campus School at Smith College. Participants will have a chance to tour the school, meet teachers, and meet other parents. For more information, contact the admission office at 413-585-3270 or visit their website. 33 Prospect Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, February 4, 10am
FILM STUDIES/FAMILY FILM
Though you may not know the character Totoro, he is as recognizable for Japanese audiences as Mickey Mouse is to us. The 1988 fantasy film, My Neighbor Totoro (rated G) launched director Hayao Miyazaki into a long and prestigious career as a filmmaker. Roger Ebert remarked in his review of the film that it is, “…A film with no villains. No fight scenes. No evil adults. No fighting between the two kids. No scary monsters. No darkness before the dawn. A world that is benign” (RogerEbert.com). The bizarre creature of Totoro is not frightening. This pleasant movie can appeal to people of all ages. It explores themes of nature, childhood, and friendship. Screen it with your family at Amherst Cinema and discover why this film remains a cultural phenomenon in Japan. 413- 253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (<$)

Saturday, February 4, 10am-12noon
FAMILY DANCE PARTY/PANCAKE BREAKFAST
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.

Saturday, February 4, 10am-4pm
LITERACY/FRIENDSHIP
Sharing your favorite book with a friend makes it twice as fun! Help your child associate reading with fun at the First Book Friendiversary! You and your children are invited to bring friends to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art for a morning of storytimes and films. Attendees will meet Elephant and Piggie from Mo Willem’s books. Every child in attendance will receive a free book while supplies last. There will also be friendship themed art projects. Check the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art for a full list of activities. In the event of snow, please call 413-559-6300 for cancellation news. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. (<$)

Saturday, February 4, 10:30am-1:30pm
CRAFTS/VALENTINES
Valentine’s Day is not just for couples! Parents can use this holiday to engage in intergenerational crafts with their children, and teach them concepts of service and kindness. Come to the Meekins Library for a morning of Valentine’s Day activities! From 10:30 to 11:30, young children can enjoy a storytime and song. From 11am to 1:30pm people of all ages are invited to craft valentines and decorate cookies. Participants are encouraged to donate some of their valentines to the Williamsburg senior center. 413-268-7472. 2 Williams Street. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, February 4, 11am-9pm
MUSIC STUDIES/ART STUDIES
Have you ever heard elevator music…played live? Free Day at MASS MoCA will feature an array of artistic and musical learning opportunities, from pop-up performances to take-home art-making workshops. Take advantage of the pop-up photo booth and participate in the human sculpture contest. Kidspace artists-in-residence Huck Elling and David Lane will be exhibiting artwork they have created in collaboration with 4th and 5th grade students from the North Adams Public Schools. Wrapping up the evening, Steven Bernstein’s Universal Melody Brass Band will play their funky classic hits and jazz tunes. Bernstein has been arranging music for thirty years and has been awarded three Grammy Awards. Admission and activities for the day are free with the exception of the Universal Melody Brass Band performance. 413-662-2111. 1040 Mass MoCA Way. North Adams, MA. (FREE admission; $ music tickets)

Saturday, February 4, 2pm
LIVING HISTORY/LOCAL HISTORY
Deborah Sampson was the first woman to fight in the American Revolution, serving in the Revolutionary war from 1782 until she was honorably discharged in 1783. Sampson also married and had a family, and often gave public talks about her military experience, including a stop at the manufacturing site of the Springfield Armory. You can learn about Deborah Sampson’s upbringing, experience in active combat, and success as the first female professional soldier by attending Judith Kalaora’s one woman play, “A Revolution of her Own”. The performance will take place at the Springfield Armory National Historic Site. Seating is limited. Please call the museum at 413-734-8551 to reserve your seat. One Armory Square. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, February 4, 2pm-4pm
ART STUDIES
Does your teen make art? Artistic, creative hobbies can be a great emotional outlet for young people. Art also takes considerable practice to master, so starting early can help teens hone their natural abilities. You and your teen can connect with other talented young artists at the 31st Annual Berkshire County High School Art Show! This special exhibition at the Norman Rockwell Museum is free of charge. Attendees can choose to pay regular museum admission in order to also visit the permanent exhibit. 413-298-4100. 9 Glendale Road. Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, February 4, 2:30pm
FIBER ARTS/COLLABORATIVE CONSUMPTION
Do you have yarn, needles, patterns, tools, or fabric you no longer use? Ashfield Needles and Threads is hosting an exchange of fiber arts materials and ideas! Bring items, take items. Connect with others and exchange your crafting knowledge, while engaging in collaborative consumption. New materials may be just what you need to get inspired about a new project. All are welcome to take materials whether they have some to donate or not. Snow date is February 5. Check the Ashfield Needles and Threads Facebook page or call 413-628-4527. Congregational Church. Main Street. Ashfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, February 4, 3:30pm
LIVING HISTORY
Teddy Roosevelt was a soldier, naturalist, historian, father, statesman, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, and remains to this day a relatively popular presidential figure. Author, educator, and actor Ted Zalewski will be bring Roosevelt’s boisterous personality to life at Ventfort Hall. This one-man performance will be followed by a Victorian tea. Step into the past and learn about the life and personality of the 32nd United States president. 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street. Lenox, MA. ($$)

Saturday, February 4, 4pm
LITERACY/HISTORY
Jeannine Atkins’ books often cross and combine genres, incorporating lots of educational material for kids. Her latest book, Stone Mirrors, is a biographical, historical book written in verse. In it she tells the story of half Native American, half African American sculptor Edmonia Lewis during the years following the civil war. This text can teach children about women’s history, American history, racial experiences, and the poetic form. Atkins will be paying a visit to the Odyssey Bookshop, reading her work. This program is best suited for ages nine and up. 413-534-7307. 9 College Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, February 4, 6:30pm
PERMACULTURE/FILM STUDIES
Permaculture is a flexible and adaptable holistic design approach based on natural laws that allows us to examine and refine our relationships with a whole ecosystem, including ourselves. Permaculture calls upon us to make ethical choices, take action, and live knowing “all is in relation.” The film Inhabit: A Permaculture Perspective explores several examples of permaculture projects and the social and ecological innovators spearheading these efforts in the Northeast and beyond. Come see the film and meet others interested in permaculture. Before the film, Nutwood Farm representatives will tell audience members about their plants to grow perennial staple foods on their farm. Cummington Community House. 33 Main Street. Cummington, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, February 4, 6:30pm
FAMILY FILM
The 2016 stop-motion fantasy, Kubo and The Two Strings (rated PG) uses magical elements and an exciting quest to demonstrate the power of storytelling and music. Kubo lives a simple life, making living storytelling, until he accidentally summons a spirit from his past. He must go on a journey to battle monsters and reunite his family, using a magical musical instrument! This animated film is set in Japan and features a score of original music. Join other families to enjoy this family film! The M.N. Spear Memorial Library is hosting a screening. Snacks and baked goods will be available for purchase. 413-259-1213. Town Hall. 1 Cooleyville Road. Shutesbury, MA. (DONATION)

Saturday, February 4, 7pm-9pm
MUSIC STUDIES/GOSPEL
Gospel is a genre of Christian music which can be traced back to the 17th century. Gospel music holds great historic and cultural significance in many African American communities. This year, you can kick off Black History Month by attending the Second Annual Gospel concert at Bard College at Simon’s Rock. This concert will feature both traditional and contemporary gospel music featuring choirs from Pittsfield, Albany, and Hudson. 413-644-4400. 84 Alford Road. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

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Sunday, February 5th, 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, February 5, all day
PLACEMAKING/WINTER CARNIVAL
Winter brings with it the opportunity for lots of sun family activities like sledding and enjoying warm meals of comfort food. The Greenfield Winter Carnival welcomes the entire community to celebrate the season by enjoying or participating in ice carving, the cardboard sled race, a chili cook-off, cribbage tournament and more. Admire the parade of lights on Main Street and fireworks over Poet Seat Tower. Visit the Greenfield Recreation website for more details. Various locations. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, February 5, 1pm-4pm
PARENTING/EDUCATION
The Center School is a preschool through 8th grade progressive school, serving Hampshire and Franklin counties. Prospective families are invited to explore the school 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 offering 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. 413-773-1700. 71 Montague City Road. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, February 5, 1pm-5pm
ART STUDIES/CALLIGRAPHY
Calligraphy brings artistic visual elements to the act of writing. Calligraphy can be a fun activity for those who enjoy writing or drawing, or want to improve their penmanship. Like many art activities calligraphy can help you hone your patience by focusing on a tactile task. For children, projects such as this can help hone fine motor skills. Ann Kremers, professional calligrapher, will be giving a calligraphy demonstrations to visitors of all ages at the Clark Art Institute, as part of First Sundays Free. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, February 5, 1:30pm-4:30pm
JAPANESE CULTURE/FILM STUDIES
Stories of ghosts, spirits, apparitions, or some similar entity is a cultural universal, appearing in various forms in cultures all over the world. You can explore another culture’s ghost stories by screening the unrated, 1965 film, Kwaidan (unrated). What kinds of similarities or differences can you see, comparing American contemporary ghost stories to this film, which adapts four, nineteenth century Japanese folk tales. This event is part of the series, “Colors of Japan: Cinematic Impressions,” providing local art fans with the chance to explore Japanese culture through a variety of Japanese films and artwork at the Clark Art Institute. The film series is occurring in conjunction with the exhibition Japanese Impressions: Color Woodblock Prints. Check out both the film and the exhibit for a crash course in Japanese artistic expression. All films are in Japanese with English subtitles. This is the second to last film in the series, followed by Equinox Flower on February 26. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA.

Sunday, February 5, 2pm
MUSIC STUDIES/A CAPELLA
Modern a capella music stems from Renaissance music which relied heavily on vocalists. Joining an a capella group in college is a great way to get involved in music if you are a talented singer or percussive vocalist (beatboxers are often utilized to add a percussive layer to a capella pieces). The 2017 Silver Chord Bowl will bring together some of the best collegiate a capella groups of the Northeast, including Dartmouth Aires, the Boston University BosTones, Tufts sQ!, the UMass Dynamics, the UMass Doo Wop Shop and the Smith College Noteables. Northampton High School’s very own Northamptones will open the show. This event kicks off the Four Sundays in February Winter Festival Series. Call 1-800-838-3006 for tickets. John M. Greene Hall, Smith College. 60 Elm Street. Northampton, MA. ($ – $$)

Sunday, February 5, 2pm-4pm
HERBAL MEDICINE
For people who love to spend time outdoors, ticks and the threat of Lyme disease can be a significant concern. Hannah Jacobson-Hardy, community herbalist, will be at Bartholomew’s Cobble educating community members on how to prevent and treat Lyme disease with herbal medicine. Nature is the cause, but it can also help to cure! For more information please call 413-298-3239 ex 3013. 117 Cooper Hill Road. Sheffield, MA. (<$)

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Monday, February 6th, 2017

Storyhour & Playgroups: East Longmeadow, Pelham & Whately

Monday, February 6, 3pm-3:45pm
MINDFULNESS/CLIMATE ACTION
It can be a difficult balance to be politically aware and active while not allowing global concerns to take an unnecessary toll on your mind. Mindfulness teaches people to be aware and present moment-to-moment. Practicing mindfulness can help you to be active in the moment, without letting your activism spiral into anxiety about the future. As part of a climate change event series, “Talking Truth: Finding Your Voice Around the Climate Crisis,” you are invited to participate in a Mindful Climate Action workshop every Monday through May 8th. Attendees will be guided through a thirty minute mindfulness practice, followed by a discuss on resources, action-based opportunities, and ideas. W.E.B. DuBois Library at UMass Amherst. Room 1638. 154 Hicks Way. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Monday, February 6, 4:30pm
ANTHROPOMETRICS/HISTORY
Have you ever heard of anthropometry? Even if you’ve never heard this word before, this subject of study has effected clothing design, architectural trends, and ergonomic design of furniture. Anthropometry is the study of the measurement of the human body. It is a tool for anthropologists and intersects with topics such as race and psychology. You can learn more by attending a lecture at Smith College. Associate professor of history Marina Mogilner will be examining these topics in her talk, “American Humanitarian Intervention, Jewish Race, and Anthropometrics: A Story From the Russian Civil War.” Smith College. Seelye 106. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

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Tuesday, February 7, 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, February 7, 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! 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, February 7, 5:30pm
VALENTINE’S DAY/KINDNESS
Making Valentines with your children can be a way of teaching them about random acts of kindness and charity. You don’t have to make Valentines just for your secret sweetheart. You can make them to show appreciation for friends, families, neighbors, or even your favorite non profit! The whole family is invited to the Community Action Family Center to make handmade Valentines. Supplies and snacks will be created. All ages are welcome. 413-475-1555. 90 Federal Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, February 7, 6:30pm-8pm
POLITICAL SCIENCE/U.S. GOVERNMENT
What exactly is the electoral college? How does it affect the outcome of our voting process and why do we use it at all? Sometimes the winner of the popular vote, in other words the person with the most individual votes, does not become president. This occurred in both the 2000 and 2016 presidential elections and this phenomenon has many citizens calling for the abolition of the electoral college. You can gain a better understanding of U.S. government and decide where you stand on this issue by attending a presentation at the Brightwood Branch Library. Attendees will hear from students Amel Amed and Jesse Rhodes of UMass-Amherst, Adam Hilton of Mount Holyoke College, and State Senator Eric Lesser. 359 Plainfield Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

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Wednesday, February 8th, 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, February 8, 8am-5:30pm
PARENTING/EDUCATION
Oasis Camp offers specialty programs for children from 3 years old to 6th grade! With amazing facilities at Smith College, Oasis features mature staff with low camper/staff ratio and a warm environment where kids can participate in activities tailored to their interests! The Early Start camp for kids 3 years to Kindergarten offers sports, daily Red Cross swim, arts, dance, theater and a Ready for September enrichment program. The Traditional Camp (1st- 6th graders) is designed to provide campers with sports crafts, theater, dance and Red Cross Instructional and Recreational Swim to further develop skills and confidence. Come to this open house to learn more. Call 800-317-1392 for more information. Open House-February 8-5:30pm, at Smith College Seeley Hall Rm. 101. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, February 8, 11:30am-12:30pm
GUIDED NATURE HIKE
Hiking is safer and more enjoyable with friends! The Berkshire Natural Resource Council is sponsoring a guided, moderate 1.2 mile hike at Stevens Glen. Meet neighbors and community members who also enjoy spending time outdoors, and enjoy scenic views of the ravine. Bring lunch or a snack, water, and wear warm layers and appropriate footwear. Be prepared for potential ice on the trail. Dogs on leash are welcome. Email mleavitt@bnrc.org with any questions. Park at a small pull-off on the right with a sign for the Glen. Lenox Branch Road. West Stockbridge / Richmond, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, February 8, 5pm
BUDDHISM/MEDICINE
How can an understanding of Buddhism help inform and improve Western medical practices? Anthropologist Dr Joan Halifax Roshi has pioneered the development of Zen-based hospice care. Her book, Being with Dying has been powerfully influential in the area of hospice care. Roshi works at a medical program in Dolpo, a remote region of Nepal. Adults and older teens interested in Buddhism, medicine, and the intersection of the two should attend Roshi’s lecture at Smith College. Bring questions and an open mind. Seelye 106. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, February 8, 6pm
FILM STUDIES/ANIME
The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter is considered the oldest known Japanese narrative. This 10th century Japanese folktale tells the story of a childless bamboo cutter who finds an infant in a stalk of bamboo. Folktales of any culture can be a useful key to understanding modern literature and narrative art forms. The 2015 film, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (rated PG) combines elements of this famous folktale with beautiful, hand-drawn artwork. This film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. The Clark Art Institute will be screening the film as part of their anime film series, in conjunction with the current exhibition, Japanese Impressions: Color Woodblock Prints from the Rodbell Family Collection. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, February 8, 6:30pm-8pm
ANIMAL TRACKING
Nature lovers can learn to track animals in order to hunt them, or because they want to gain a greater understanding of local ecology. Author Louis Liebenberg, and later other writers, suggested in 1990 that animal tracking may be the very origin of scientific inquiry in humans (See: The Art of Tracking by Louis Liebenberg). Today, wildlife tracking is common in the fields of biology, zoology, and related sciences. You can learn basic techniques of this ancient art and science by attending “An Introduction to The Art of Animal Tracking” at River Valley Co Op. Frank Grindrod of Earthwork Programs will present this slideshow, giving you the basic skills to explore your own neighborhood in search of animal signs. Registration is required. Call 413-584-2665 or stop by customer service. 330 North King Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, February 8, 7:30pm
PLACEMAKING/WINTERFEST
Celebrate the local music, artists, food, and other cultural icons Holyoke has to offer at the 2017 Winter Festival. This five-day event kicks off on February 8, with a performance by piano rock musician Marco Benevento. Benevento has been performing for more than a decade and made appearances at high-profile venues and events ranging from Carnegie Hall to Pickathon, Mountain Jam to Bonnaroo. Check the Gateway City Arts website for a full schedule of programs and performances taking place through February 12. 413-650-2670. Race Street. Holyoke, MA. ($)

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Thursday, February 9th, 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, February 9, 12:15pm-1pm
WOMEN’S HISTORY
Massachusetts woman Anne Sullivan is best known for having been an educator to Helen Keller. Sullivan also had an interesting life in other ways. She was the child of an indigent, immigrant, illiterate father in a society with few safety nets for the poor. This lunchtime lecture at the Springfield Museums will explore the societal changes which took place from 1870 to 1920, a time when Americans changed their definition of the public good, and redefined their level of responsibility to poor populations. The audience is invited to bring a lunch to enjoy during the program. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. (<$)

Thursday, February 9, 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. Leeds Elementary School. 20 Florence Street. Leeds, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, February 9, 6pm-8pm
PARENTING/MENTAL HEALTH
Anxiety is a persistent issue. For children, anxiety in one area such as schoolwork, can impact other daily routines such as socializing, recreation, meals, and bedtime. This free parent workshop, “Strategies to Break the Worry Cycle,” will teach parents effective techniques for helping diminish your child’s anxiety in both the short and long term. Anxious kids make for anxious parents. These techniques can help the entire family better deal with worry. William E. Norris Elementary School. 34 Pomeroy Meadow Road. Southampton, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, February 9, 6:30pm-8pm
COMMUNITY SING
Do you like to sing? No matter your musical abilities or experience, you can come be a part of “Hope Singing” at the Shelburne Falls Senior Center. Music minister Sarah Pirtle will run this community event, providing lyrics to uplifting songs for everyone to join in singing. Participants are also invited to bring their own favorite songs if they wish. Drop by anytime during the event. For more information, call 413-625-2355. 7 Main Street. Shelburne Falls, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, February 9, 6:30pm-8pm
ART STUDIES/DRAWING
Zentangle is a simple, structured method of drawing which relies on patterns. Learning how to draw these structures is a creative way to engage with geometry, as well as a relaxing hands-on activity. Zentangle drawing can be combined with a meditation practice or simply be a way of branching out your artwork. Delsie Dunn will be running a Zentangle Evening of Relaxation at the Berkshire Athenaeum. Registration is required. Call 413-623-5483 by noon the day of the event. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA. (<$)

Thursday, February 9, 7pm-9pm
POETRY
Poems pack meaning into fewer words than prose. Reading and writing poetry can improve your vocabulary, strengthen your imagination, and encourage creative thinking. Whether you write poetry or just like to read it, you are invited to the Poetry Cafe at the Westhampton Public Library. All ages are welcome. Bring a favorite poem to share. Homemade desserts and warm beverages will be provided. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, February 9, 7pm-9pm
SUSTAINABILITY/CLIMATE CHANGE
Want to be more active in the fight against climate change? In the pioneer valley there are many resources and knowledgeable individuals working towards sustainable living solutions. You can connect with others interested in these topics by attending a panel discussion led by several leaders in our local sustainable community. This panel discussion at the W.E.B. DuBois Library will feature: Ofer Sharone assistant professor of sociology at UMass Amherst, Sara Schley, co-founder of Seed Systems, Ezra Small, UMass Amherst Sustainability Manager, Sarah Hebert G’13, Trinity Solar employee, and John Fabel, building and construction technology adjunct faculty member, UMass Amherst. The group will discuss climate change strategies as they relate to the fields of education, entrepreneurialism, and green building. This discussion is part of a climate change event series, “Talking Truth: Finding Your Voice Around the Climate Crisis.” UMass Amherst library. Room 1638. 154 Hicks Way. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, February 9, 7:30pm
DANCE STUDIES/HAWAIIAN CULTURE
Dance is a cultural universal, something humans engage in all over the world. The types of dances and music vary greatly across cultures, however. The Halau Hula Ka No’eau Ensemble will be executing a culturally authentic performance of hula, music, chances and innovative dances inspired by Hawaiian legends. Their performance is a new piece created by choreographer and historian Michael Pili Pang. Join them at the Fine Arts Center at UMass Amherst. 413-545-2511. 151 Presidents Drive. Amherst, MA. (General admission $$; Five college students, & ages seventeen & under <$)

Thursday, February 9, 8pm
PLACEMAKING/PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT
Celebrate the local music, artists, food, and other cultural icons Holyoke has to offer at the 2017 Winter Festival. This five-day event continues on February 9 with a performance by Indie duo The Greys. Their original music combines elements of modern alternative genres and jazz. Check the Gateway City Arts website for a full schedule of programs and performances taking place through February 12. 413-650-2670. 92 Race Street. Holyoke, MA. (<$)

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Friday, February 10th, 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, February 10, 10am
THEATER/SHAKESPEARE
Romeo and Juliet, the story of “star-crossed” lovers from dueling families, remains a popular play to read and to perform today, more than four hundred years after Shakespeare wrote it. William Shakespeare permanently reshaped the English language as we know it today, inventing hundreds of words and phrases in his writing which are now commonly used. Young actors and fans of literature are invited to a performance of Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare and Company. This performance is for student audiences. Homeschooled parents are invited to bring their homeschoolers. Performances run for 90 minutes, and are followed by an optional 15-minute talkback with the actors. 413-637-3353. 70 Kemble Street. Lenox, MA. (Student <$; Chaperone FREE)

Friday, February 10, 10:30am-11:30am
ANIMAL STUDIES
Children who come to understand and value nature often carry that perspective into adulthood. Give the children in your life a strong, early connection to the world around them through activities like Kidleidoscope Tuesdays at the Great Falls Discovery Center! Children ages 3-6 and their caregivers are invited to visit for a story, game, and craft related to the natural world. Today’s topic will be bobcats! Siblings and friends welcome. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Friday, February 10, 11am-12pm
PARENTING/EDUCATION
Have you ever wondered about the Montessori method of education? Bring your child to a visit with Montessori School of Northampton educator Laura Frogameni, at the Forbes Library. This hour will include time to explore Montessori materials. There will be a circle time and a story. The Montessori School of Northampton offers children the opportunity to build their independence while engaging in enriching activities including self-care, singing, creative movement, cooking, and outdoor play with a Montessori-trained teacher and small class sizes. All families of children ages 0-6 are invited to attend this informative session. For more information call 413-586-4538 ex 103 or visit the Montessori School of Northampton website. The Forbes library is located at 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Friday, February 10, 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, February 10, 3pm-5pm
CRAFTS
Are you a self-employed craftsperson or artisan? Craftworking at Knack: The Art of Clever Reuse invites you to network with other DIY folks while participating in a craft workshop. The fee for this event includes studio time, project samples and instruction. This monthly event will be held on the second Friday of each month. 413-529-0126. 116 Pleasant Street. Easthampton, MA. ($)

Friday, February 10, 4pm-8pm
ART STUDIES/INTERGENERATIONAL
Making your own jewelry is a fun, creative hobby which can also be a form of thoughtful and inexpensive gift making. Participants at this month’s Free Second Friday at the Smith College Museum of Art will have the opportunity to make a gilded arm band or bracelet inspired by the art on view. At 6pm, enjoy a guided tour of the exhibition Valentines from Venus. Then, at 7pm, you can stick around for a screening of the film Layers of Pompeii (2016). People of all ages are fascinated by the story of Pompeii, a sixth century BC town destroyed, yet preserved, by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. 413-585-2760. 20 Elm Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Friday, February 10, 1pm-8pm
PLACEMAKING/ART STUDIES
Ice sculpture is a long-held tradition with strong ties to ice harvesting. In China, for example, fisherman began sculpting ice into lantern shapes, as early as the 1600s (The Origins of Ice Sculpting). You can be a part of local ice sculpting tradition by attending the seventh annual Northampton Ice Art Festival. Sculpting will begin early and completed works will be featured as part of Arts Night Out. Stop by the outdoor ice luge at The Deck at Union Station and enjoy “Science on the Street” demonstrations at First Churches. For more information email ncfa@nohoarts.org. Downtown. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Friday, February 10, 8pm
MUSIC STUDIES/FUNDRAISER
Looking for something to kick off your weekend? All are invited to the Mount Holyoke College Music Department’s Valentine’s Concert. You will hear great music performed by music department students and faculty. This concert is a benefit for the YWCA Western Massachusetts, Safe Homes MA, and the Center for New Americans. Support local musicians as well as local organizations. McCulloch Auditorium. Pratt Hall. College Street. South Hadley, MA. (DONATION

Friday, February 10, 8pm
PLACEMAKING/PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT
Celebrate the local music, artists, food, and other cultural icons Holyoke has to offer at the 2017 Winter Festival. The musical performers on February 10 will have you up and moving! Jose Gonzalez Y Banda Criolla will be performing a range of Latin dance music including Salsa, Bachata, Timba, Cumbia, Son, Bomba, Plena and Jibaro music. Check the Gateway City Arts website for a full schedule of programs and performances taking place through February 12. 413-650-2670. 92 Race Street. Holyoke, MA. ($)

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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, Shutesbury, Springfield, Ware, and Warwick Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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