Suggested Events for February 18th – 24th, 2017

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Hilltown Families is THE place to find out what to do with your kids in the valley. All year long I turn to Hilltown Families to find something fun to do, especially on weekends and school vacations. Thank you!” – Niki Lankowski (Whately, MA)

“Hilltown Families is THE place to find out what to do with your kids in the valley. All year long I turn to Hilltown Families to find something fun to do, especially on weekends and school vacations. Thank you!” – Niki Lankowski (Whately, 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.

Summer Camp

advertise with Hilltown FamiliesMARKET YOUR SUMMER CAMP: In an effort to connect families with summer camps & programs in the region, Hilltown Families is offering camps and programs a chance to partner with us in their online marketing with a special enhanced publicity offer. On Wednesday, March 8th, 2017, Hilltown Families will be featuring camps in the region on Hilltown Families with a special post titled: 2017 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA. Find out more about this targeted marketing opportunity HERE.

Bulletin Board

Feb 19-26

As part of its Four Sundays in February Series, the Northampton Arts Council presents Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child (2/19 @2pm), the nationally syndicated radio show for kids and their adults, live on stage featuring Grammy Award Winner Dan Zanes plus other special guests; KidsBestFest & YouthFilm (2/20-24 @1:30pm), a weeklong FREE kids film festival; and The Really Big Show (2/26 @2pm), the Pioneer Valley’s own variety show showcasing local talent. All events take place at the Academy of Music Theatre in Northampton, Mass. More info and tickets at hamparts.org.

Feb 20-24

February school vacation week activities at New England Air Museum! Monday, February 20th through Friday February 24th, in Windsor Locks, CT . Explore three giant exhibit hangars filled with over sixty historic aircraft, and experience the wonders of flight through hands-on activities including 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. The Virtual Flight Center is open to visitors ages 10 and older. For updated information and more special events, visit: www.neam.org.

Feb 21-24

Tuesday, February 21, to Friday, February 24, 8:45am-3:30pm: Kids ski and chill out during school vacation week at Notchview! In the morning, kids learn to ski or fine tune their skiing skills with knowledgeable ski instructors. After a full morning of cross-country skiing on the trails, everyone heads back to the lodge for lunch followed by an afternoon of choice activities including more outdoor exploration of the woods or indoor arts and crafts. Lunch included! Ages 7-12. There are still spots available! Members: $288; Nonmembers: $360. To register email acaluori@thetrustees.org or call 413-628-4485 x3.

Feb 25

Meet Curious George and others at the WGBY Love for Learning PBS Kids fan fair Saturday, Feb. 25 from 10am to 3pm at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield. It’s like a comic book convention for PBS Kids (ages 2–8). Children are encouraged to dress up as a favorite character. Enjoy show-themed activity stations, tabletop fun from community partners, and live demos from children’s book authors and illustrators. Plus, meet live characters, including Curious George, Buddy from Dinosaur Train, The Cat in the Hat, and others. The event is free (with suggested donation in support of public television). Event details and registration available at wgby.org/fanfair. Questions? Contact Marie Waechter at mwaechter@wgby.org.

Feb 26

Mister G February Fiesta! Presented by Sunnyside Child Care Center (one of the area’s longest running early childhood centers, offering quality care for children ages 18 months through five years). Come hear Latin Grammy winner Mister G perform songs in English and Spanish for kids from 1-100! Crafts, pizza, popcorn, and fun for all. Sunday, February 26, 10am-noon, at the Florence Civic Center, 140 Pine St., Florence. $8/per person or $25 for the family! www.sunnysidekids.org.

Open House: Mar 4

Sunnyside Child Care Center in Northampton is holding an Open House on Saturday, March 4, 9:30-11am. They are enrolling now for Fall 2017. Sunnyside provides play-based programs with an emergent curriculum for ages 18 months-5 years on 8 wooded acres between Northampton and Easthampton. Sunnyside values and promotes diversity, and offers flexible scheduling and a sliding scale tuition to make their high-quality childcare more accessible. Visit them at the open house, or call to schedule a tour. Sunnyside, 557 Easthampton Rd., Northampton. 413-727-3665. www.sunnysidekids.org.

Feb 20-24

February vacation at Amherst Archery! Picture spending all day at the archery range immersed in a wide variety of kid and teen-accessible archery activities! Besides Olympic-style target archery and plenty of archery games, kids will also engage in archery art projects, make their own arm guards from recycled materials, explore archery history, anatomy of archery, and even learn some fun physics through hands-on archery experiences. Each day will provide different surprises. All archery and art supplies provided. Families provide lunch and snacks. The now famous “ARTchery” project will be included! Programs taught by certified USA Archery coaches at the range in Florence. Enroll for the entire week or by the day. Ages 7 and up. www.amherstarchery.com.

Accepting applications for fall 2017. The Bement School founded in 1925 and located in Deerfield is a co-educational junior boarding and day school serving 210 students in kindergarten through grade 9. Bement’s rich, traditional curriculum motivates and challenges students with strong academics, a renowned fine arts program, and a diverse athletic program. Students participate in athletics and fine arts every day. The pervasive atmosphere at Bement is that of a family, learning and living together. Bement actively seeks an academically diverse, international, and multi-cultural student body. For information on how to apply, financial aid, or to arrange a visit to campus, call 413-774-4209 www.bement.org

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.

Featured Winter & Spring Classes in Western MA

Are you looking for a preschool that fits your child’s personality and reflects your family’s values? Check out our growing Preschool Directory, covering all four counties in Western Massachusetts, and find the perfect place for your young one! — Have a school you’d like to include in this list? Click here to find out how to have it added.

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 18th-24th, 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 18th, 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 for the Hilltown Family Variety Show’s Classic Children’s Books Episode with Guest DJ, Jason Didner. 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 18, 8am-9:30pm
PLACEMAKING/ART STUDIES
10×20 Upstreet Arts Festival consists of ten days of community-based cultural events that showcase music, theater, art, local food, play and creativity and celebrate the rich arts and culture found in the communities of the Berkshires! This annual winter celebration features daily performances and activities to connect you to your area and to other community members. Programs on February 18 will include historical learning through photography, a new photographic art exhibit opening talk, ten minute plays and more. Visit the Discover Pittsfield website for a full schedule of events. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE – $$)

Saturday, February 18, 9am-5pm
ORNITHOLOGY/BIRDS OF PREY
For February school vacation week, families can visit the Springfield Armory National Historic Site and learn about a range of topics far beyond local military history. Kicking off the week of learning, raptor rehabilitator Tom Ricardi will be giving a Birds of Prey presentation. At this live, interactive bird show you can learn about species of raptors who make their home in the Pioneer Valley. Birds of prey shows are an engaging way to learn about biology, habitat, and wildlife preservation. 413-734-8551. One Armory Square. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, February 18, 10am
FILM STUDIES/COMEDY
The 1926 film The General (not rated) provides is an interesting case-study in how critical reception changes over time. This action-comedy, created in the silent era of filmmaking, was not well-received upon its initial release. Today, however, it is a highly respected work often ranking among the best American films of all time. The film tells the story of character Johnnie Gray, a train engineer who tries and fails to enlist in the army during the Civil War. The plot is a comedy of errors and misunderstandings. You can see it at Amherst Cinema as part of their Family Films Series. 413- 253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (<$)

Saturday, February 18, 10am-12pm
ANIMAL TRACKING/GUIDED NATURE HIKE
With a careful eye you can find evidence of coyote, fox, porcupine, beaver, and the fierce fisher in our local habitat. Your nature hikes will soon be opportunities to track local wildlife and learn about ecology. Expert naturalist John Body will be teaching a workshop at Marble Brook to teach participants the skills of animal tracking. This workshop is limited to 20 participants. Heavy snow or rain cancels. Email office@kestreltrust.org to register and for directions. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, February 18, 10am-2pm
LOCAL FOOD/FARMERS’ MARKET
What kinds of vegetables can you buy fresh in the cold months? Find out by shopping and connecting with local farmers at Berkshire Grown’s Holiday Farmers’ Market! Bring along your children to teach them about the changing of the seasons through food. Local meats, cheeses, and vegetables will be available as well as craft items. There will also be live music and activities for kids. 413-528-0041. Monument Valley Middle School. 313 Monument Valley Road. Great Barrington, MA. (MARKET/SALE)

Saturday, February 18, 10am-4pm
PLACEMAKING/WINTERFEST
Pittsfield’s 10×10 Upstreet Arts Festival offers ten days of community-based cultural events that showcase music, theater, art, local food, play and creativity. This annual event celebrates the rich arts and culture found in the communities of the Berkshires. Theatrical performances include the New Play Festival, showcasing ten new, ten-minute plays with small ensembles of just six actors. There will be educational learning opportunities in the form of art lectures and discussions. On February 18, the arts festival coincides with the 20th annual WinterFest, offering tons of winter fun including ice sculpting and a chowder competition. Visit the festival website for a full schedule of events. Various locations. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE – $$)

Saturday, February 18, 10am-4pm
AVIATION/HISTORY
Have you ever wondered what the inside of a cockpit looks like? At New England Air Museum’s Open Cockpit Day you’ll see aircraft, including helicopters and a jet fighter, from the inside out. Visitors of all ages can entertain the idea of piloting careers by participating in climb-aboard experiences, fly challenges and more. This is a unique opportunity for adults and children to learn about all of the intricacies and mechanics of flight! 860-623-330. 36 Perimeter Road. Windsor Locks, CT. ($; ages 4-11 <$; 3 and under and museum members FREE)

Saturday, February 18, 10am-4pm
ZOOLOGY
This February school vacation week, keep the learning going by visiting a nature center!
Great Falls Discovery Center invites visitors engage in self-directed learning through the beautiful and realistic interpretive displays detailing the natural, cultural, and industrial history of the Connecticut River watershed. Saturday, February 18 through Sunday, February 26 the center will be expanding their hours and providing investigation stations on various topics. Saturday, February 18 through Monday, February 20, come learn about mammal adaptations! 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, February 18, 10am-4pm
PLACEMAKING/WINTERFEST
Winter festivals offer opportunities for play, learning, connection to place, community-building, and artistic expression. WinterFest offers families a chance to celebrate the coming end of the last of the wintriest months! North Adams’ WinterFest will feature ice sculpting, a farmers’ market, a chowder competition, hot chocolate, horse-drawn wagon rides, and ice skating! Get out and get moving! Weather permitting the fun will continue on Sunday, February 19. For more information, visit, Explore North Adams. Various locations downtown. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, February 18, 11am
FILM STUDIES/FAMILY FILM
The 2016 animated film Kubo and the Two Strings (Rated PG) is an action-adventure set in a fantastical Japan. The kindhearted Kubo tells enchanting stories to the people of his seaside town, and accidentally summons a mythical spirit from his past and must flee and battle gods and monsters. Families are invited to the Hubbard Memorial Library to join Kubo on his journey. Older children and adults may be interested in the stop motion animation style of the film, a cinematic technique which combines movable models with photography. 413-583-3408. 24 Center Street. Ludlow, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, February 18, 11am-3pm
CREATIVE FREE PLAY/MUSEUM ADVENTURES
Play is the work of childhood. Creative, self-directed play teaches children physical, mental, social, and emotional skills- all while they’re having a great time. Ten Days of Play at the Berkshire Museum encourages youth to experiment, improvise, create, and learn while they play. Visit the brand new Curiosity Incubator, as well as a LEGO® station, Tegu magnetic block station, and the Imagination Playground. These open-ended, child-directed stations are bound to bring out your child’s natural instinct for creative free play. Ten Days of Play activities are included with regular Museum admission and will be available daily from 11am-3pm daily, and 12pm-3pm on Sundays through February 26, in connection with Pittsfield’s 10×10 Upstreet Arts Festival. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Route 7. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, February 18, 1pm
ORNITHOLOGY/BIRDS OF PREY
 Raptor rehabilitation is a veterinary field focused on nursing sick birds of prey with the hope of returning them to the wild. Julie Ann Collier is a raptor rehabilitator, and one half of the partnership, Wingmasters. She will be running a live, educational bird show with owls, falcons and more at Grace Hall Memorial Library. Learn about the role of birds as predators as well as how humans have interacted with them in her program: Ancient Civilizations. 413-862-3894. 161 Main Road. Montgomery, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, February 18, 1pm
NATIVE AMERICAN STUDIES/HISTORY
Primary source documents such as biographies are a great resource for learning about history through a personal lens. Pequot activist and minister William Apess was the first Native American to write and publish his own book length treatises and memoirs. He was born in Colrain, Massachusetts and published his work in the 1820s and 1830s. Old Dominion University professor Drew Lopenzina will be discussing his biography of Apess, Through an Indian’s Looking Glass, in a talk at Great Falls Discovery Center. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, February 18, 1pm-4pm
NATURAL HISTORY/DINOSAURS
Extinct species tell us a lot about evolution and the history of the Earth. Dinosaurs are particularly interesting because of their, in some cases, massive size. Holyoke Heritage State Park has a new family learning exhibit, Reading The Rocky Book of the Past: Dinosaur Footprints in the Connecticut River Valley. People of all ages can expand their knowledge of dinosaurs and their connection to our area. There will be hands-on aspects to this exhibition including a “make your own” takeaway activity and dinosaur track reproductions. Using dinosaurs as an entry-point, you can make science fun while offering youth opportunities for learning about evolutionary biology, ancient history, geology and archaeology. 413-534-1723. 221 Appleton Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, February 18, 2pm-4:15pm
PHOTOGRAPHY/NATURE
Want to improve your photography skills? Before you buy an expensive camera, see what you can do with what you already have. Bring your smartphone and a seasoned photographer will show you the best settings, techniques, and apps to capture the beautiful winter scenes at Notchview. Photography can be a great metaphor for attitude and personality. Two people can capture the same image with a completely different focus, even creating different moods from the same scene. See what your creative lens reveals. Registration is required required. For more information call The Trustees at 413-628-4485 ex 3. 83 Old Route 9. Windsor, MA. (<$)

Saturday, February 18, 6pm
THEATER/PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT
Dinner, theatrics, comedy, mystery, and wine! You’ll get all of the above at “Don’t Wine If You Are Murdered!” a dinner theater performance at Ventfort Hall. Helena Handbasket invites you to her wine tasting, where the audience will be called upon to help solve the mystery of who murdered world-famous Wine Connoisseur U. Paul McCork! The Comical Mystery Theater Tour ensemble has appeared at Ventfort Hall to sold-out audiences and has been performing for over two decades. 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street. Lenox, MA. ($$)

Saturday, February 18, 6pm-7:30pm
ART STUDIES/FIGURE DRAWING/CIRCUS
Artists, circus performers and interested audience members are invited to the SHOW Circus Studio for a unique performance of physical and one-dimensional art. Show Circus students will perform their act and artists are invited to gather inspiration from their movements, recreating the performance in sketches on the page. Using the tools available, trained circus performers will serve as models for an audience of artists, exploring the form and figure unique to the motions of circus performance. During Circus Sketch Lab’s community events, performers will serve as models while also working to create a new performance – thus exposing vulnerabilities and allowing the audience to witness (and create from) their own creative process. For more information, visit the SHOW Circus Studio Facebook page. 150 Pleasant Street, Suite 313. Easthampton MA. (<$)

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Sunday, February 19th, 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 Valentine’s Day episode with Guest DJ Charity Kahn. Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcast anytime – click here to see over 9 years of archived shows.

Sunday, February 19, 10am-4pm
ZOOLOGY
This February school vacation week, keep the learning going by visiting a nature center!
Great Falls Discovery Center invites visitors engage in self-directed learning through the beautiful and realistic interpretive displays detailing the natural, cultural, and industrial history of the Connecticut River watershed. Saturday, February 18 through Sunday, February 26 the center will be expanding their hours and providing investigation stations on various topics. Saturday, February 18 through Monday, February 20, come learn about mammal adaptations! 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, February 19, 10am-4pm
PLACEMAKING/WINTERFEST
Winter festivals offer opportunities for play, learning, connection to place, community-building, and artistic expression. WinterFest offers families a chance to celebrate the coming end of the last of the wintriest months! North Adams’ WinterFest will feature ice sculpting, a farmers’ market, a chowder competition, hot chocolate, horse-drawn wagon rides, and ice skating! Get out and get moving! The second day of WinterFest on February 19 is weather dependent. Activities will include sledding, tubing, snowshoeing and other fun in the snow, as well as a bonfire. For more information, visit, Explore North Adams. Windsor Lake. 200 Windsor Lake Road. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, February 19, 11am-1pm
OUTDOOR ADVENTURES/GAMES
Games can bring families together whether you’re playing on teams or individually. The Family Winter Olympics at Bartholomew’s Cobble will get family members outdoors and moving on their fun winter obstacle course. There will be plenty of silliness as families work together to reach the finish line. This event is suitable for ages 5 and up and will happen with or without snow. For more information please call 413-298-3239 ex3013. 117 Cooper Hill Road. Sheffield, MA. (Members <$; Non members $; Kids FREE)

Sunday, February 19, 11am-5pm
PLACEMAKING/ART STUDIES
10×20 Upstreet Arts Festival consists of ten days of community-based cultural events that showcase music, theater, art, local food, play and creativity and celebrate the rich arts and culture found in the communities of the Berkshires! This annual winter celebration features daily performances and activities to connect you to your area and to other community members. Programs on February 19 will include a new photographic art exhibit, film shorts, ten minute plays and more. Visit the Discover Pittsfield website for a full schedule of events. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE – $$)

Sunday, February 19, 12pm-3pm
CREATIVE FREE PLAY/MUSEUM ADVENTURES
Play is the work of childhood. Creative, self-directed play teaches children physical, mental, social, and emotional skills- all while they’re having a great time. Ten Days of Play at the Berkshire Museum encourages youth to experiment, improvise, create, and learn while they play. Visit the brand new Curiosity Incubator, as well as a LEGO® station, Tegu magnetic block station, and the Imagination Playground. These open-ended, child-directed stations are bound to bring out your child’s natural instinct for creative free play. Ten Days of Play activities are included with regular Museum admission and will be available daily from 11am-3pm daily, and 12pm-3pm on Sundays through February 26, in connection with Pittsfield’s 10×10 Upstreet Arts Festival. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Route 7. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, February 19, 2pm
LIVE BROADCAST
As part of its Four Sundays in February Series, the Northampton Arts Council presents Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child (2/19 @2pm), the nationally syndicated radio show for kids and their adults, live on stage featuring Grammy Award Winner Dan Zanes plus other special guests. Takes place at the Academy of Music Theatre in Northampton, Mass. More info and tickets at hamparts.org.

Sunday, February 19, 2pm
MUSIC STUDIES/CLASSICAL
Ludwig Van Beethoven is a figure often discussed in music classes from elementary school up to college and beyond. In addition to the impact Beethoven had on Classical music, he also led a difficult life and lost his hearing in his late twenties. Due to his talent, historical impact, and fascinating personal life, he has been a prominent figure in both musical and historical studies. Beethoven composed, among many other works, five sonatas for cello and piano. You can hear each one performed by cellist Edward Arron and pianist Jeewon Park, at the Clark Art Institute. The sonatas span Beethoven’s career; hearing them will provide insight into his growth as a composer. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. ($$; Students with valid ID FREE)

Sunday, February 19, 5pm
AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES
Studying black history helps to connect past atrocities such as slavery to the current injustices of racism. Christina Sharpe is Associate Professor of English, Africana and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Tufts University, and author of In the Wake. She will be discussing the current state of violence and neglect toward black lives in the wake of slavery. Since 1976, Americans have been celebrating Black History Month as a way to highlight issues of racism and honor African Americans who have shaped our society. These stories are often neglected and overlooked. Take advantage of many opportunities this month to build your understanding of black history. Smith College. Neilson Library Browsing Room. 7 Neilson Drive. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

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Monday, February 20th, 2017

Storyhour & Playgroups: East Longmeadow, Pelham & Whately

Monday, February 20, 10am-4pm
ZOOLOGY
This February school vacation week, keep the learning going by visiting a nature center!
Great Falls Discovery Center invites visitors engage in self-directed learning through the beautiful and realistic interpretive displays detailing the natural, cultural, and industrial history of the Connecticut River watershed. Saturday, February 18 through Sunday, February 26 the center will be expanding their hours and providing investigation stations on various topics. From 11:30am—1:30 pm on Monday, February 20, visitors are also invited to create art about their favorite places in Montague’s five villages. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Monday, February 20
HISTORY/AVIATION
February school vacation week activities at New England Air Museum! Monday, February 20th through Friday February 24th, in Windsor Locks, CT . Explore three giant exhibit hangars filled with over sixty historic aircraft, and experience the wonders of flight through hands-on activities including 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. The Virtual Flight Center is open to visitors ages 10 and older. For updated information and more special events, visit: www.neam.org.

Monday, February 20
ARCHERY/ART

February vacation at Amherst Archery! Picture spending all day at the archery range immersed in a wide variety of kid and teen-accessible archery activities! Besides Olympic-style target archery and plenty of archery games, kids will also engage in archery art projects, make their own arm guards from recycled materials, explore archery history, anatomy of archery, and even learn some fun physics through hands-on archery experiences. Each day will provide different surprises. All archery and art supplies provided. Families provide lunch and snacks. The now famous “ARTchery” project will be included! Programs taught by certified USA Archery coaches at the range in Florence. Enroll for the entire week or by the day. Ages 7 and up. www.amherstarchery.com.

Monday, February 20, 11am-2pm
NEW ENGLAND HISTORY/ICE HARVESTING
In the days of western Massachusetts past, when refrigerators weren’t standard kitchen equipment, ice was quite a luxury during the summer. In order to have ice after the spring thaw began, early New Englanders would have to harvest and strategically store ice from local lakes and ponds. Kept in the proper conditions (in the dark, and surrounded by insulation – usually sawdust), the harvested ice would last much longer than the cold weather did. Dennis Picard, director of Storrowton Village Museum, will be presenting an ice harvesting demonstration at Eastern States Exposition to illustrate this aspect of New England History. In the 19th century, ice harvesting was the ninth largest trade in the United States! The event will take place on the lagoon, located inside Gate 9 of the exposition grounds. For more information, call the Storrowton Village museum at 413-205-5051. 1305 Memorial Avenue. West Springfield, MA. (DONATION)

Monday, February 20, 11am-3pm
CREATIVE FREE PLAY/MUSEUM ADVENTURES
Play is the work of childhood. Creative, self-directed play teaches children physical, mental, social, and emotional skills- all while they’re having a great time. Ten Days of Play at the Berkshire Museum encourages youth to experiment, improvise, create, and learn while they play. Visit the brand new Curiosity Incubator, as well as a LEGO® station, Tegu magnetic block station, and the Imagination Playground. These open-ended, child-directed stations are bound to bring out your child’s natural instinct for creative free play. Ten Days of Play activities are included with regular Museum admission and will be available daily from 11am-3pm daily, and 12pm-3pm on Sundays through February 26, in connection with Pittsfield’s 10×10 Upstreet Arts Festival. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Route 7. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Monday, February 20, 11am-9pm
PLACEMAKING/ART STUDIES
10×20 Upstreet Arts Festival consists of ten days of community-based cultural events that showcase music, theater, art, local food, play and creativity and celebrate the rich arts and culture found in the communities of the Berkshires! This annual winter celebration features daily performances and activities to connect you to your area and to other community members. Programs on February 20 will include family theater and spoken word poetry. Visit the Discover Pittsfield website for a full schedule of events. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE – $$)

Monday, February 20, 12:30pm
FAMILY FILM
Watching films from another era can teach us about the cultural context in which they were produced. This is as true of classic films as it is of cartoons! Looney Tunes originally aired between 1930 and 1969, yet many of the show’s characters are recognizable to children today. You can screen Looney Tunes Revue, a selection of episodes with characters such as Bugs Bunny and Porky Pig, as well as lesser-knowns like Hubie and Bertie the mice and bulldog Marc Antony. These films are open to everyone, all ages, at a special, family-friendly price during February school vacation week. 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (<$)

Monday, February 20, 1:30pm
ORNITHOLOGY/CULTURE STUDIES
Films are an integral part of modern culture, with family films teaching kids about life through access to all kinds of narratives. KidsBestFest, an annual, free film festival at the Academy of Music Theatre, celebrates the best in films created for and by youth! The 2017 festival will run daily from February 20 through February 24, culminating in YouthFilm, a screening of movies created by young filmmakers. On February 20, the festival kicks off with a screening of The Eagle Huntress (Rated G). This 2016 documentary features breathtaking views of the Mongolian landscape, while telling the inspiring story of a young girl who becomes the first female in her family to become an eagle hunter. 413-584-9032. 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Monday, February 20, 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 20, 6:30pm
ASTRONOMY
 Winter, with its longer nights and shorter days, is a great time to explore the subject of astronomy through observation. Before the days lengthen considerably in the coming months, take advantage by exploring this topic of study which intersects with mathematics and physics. StarLab of Springfield Museums will be giving people of all ages an introduction to astronomy with their portable planetarium, at Grace Hall Memorial Library. Registration is required. Space is limited. 413-862-3894. 161 Main Road. Montgomery, MA. (FREE)

Monday, February 20, 7pm
FILM STUDIES/FRENCH STUDIES
The 2015 drama La Belle Saison (Summertime) (not rated) paints a picture of rural France in 1971, and tells the story of a young woman’s struggle against homophobia and class divisions. The main character Delphine moves from her family’s farm in Limousin, to Paris, where she falls in love with political activist, Carole. She returns to home a changed woman, and brings Carole with her. This authentic love story provides educational insight into the feminist movement in France, while carefully depicting the powerful dramas which occur within the family dynamic. You can screen this film at Images Cinema as part of Williams College’s ongoing series, “School Stories: Diversity and Adversity in New French Film.” 50 Spring Street. 413-458-5612. Williamstown, MA. (<$)

Monday, February 20, 7:30pm
LITERACY/POETRY
Many authors are drawn to more than one genre of literature, writing and reading across broad categories of subject matter and form. Laura Kasischke is author of both poetry and prose, having written ten poetry collections as well as ten novels and a collection of short stories. She will be reading some of her poetry at Smith College. Expand your literary network by meeting other poets and fans of poetry, and asking questions of this accomplished author. Neilson Library Browsing Room. 7 Neilson Drive. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

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Tuesday, February 21th, 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 21, 8:45am-3:30pm
OUTDOOR ADVENTURES/NORDIC SKIING
Tuesday, February 21, to Friday, February 24, 8:45am-3:30pm: Kids ski and chill out during school vacation week at Notchview! In the morning, kids learn to ski or fine tune their skiing skills with knowledgeable ski instructors. After a full morning of cross-country skiing on the trails, everyone heads back to the lodge for lunch followed by an afternoon of choice activities including more outdoor exploration of the woods or indoor arts and crafts. Lunch included! Ages 7-12. There are still spots available! Members: $288; Nonmembers: $360. To register email acaluori@thetrustees.org or call 413-628-4485 x3. Windsor, MA ($$$)

Tuesday, February 21, 9am-1pm
PLACEMAKING/ART STUDIES
10×20 Upstreet Arts Festival consists of ten days of community-based cultural events that showcase music, theater, art, local food, play and creativity and celebrate the rich arts and culture found in the communities of the Berkshires! This annual winter celebration features daily performances and activities to connect you to your area and to other community members. Programs on February 21 will include family theater and a photographic art exhibition. Visit the Discover Pittsfield website for a full schedule of events. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE – $$)

Tuesday, February 21
HISTORY/AVIATION
February school vacation week activities at New England Air Museum! Monday, February 20th through Friday February 24th, in Windsor Locks, CT . Explore three giant exhibit hangars filled with over sixty historic aircraft, and experience the wonders of flight through hands-on activities including 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. The Virtual Flight Center is open to visitors ages 10 and older. For updated information and more special events, visit: www.neam.org. Windsor Locks, CT ($)

Tuesday, February 21, 10am-4pm
ZOOLOGY
This February school vacation week, keep the learning going by visiting a nature center!
Great Falls Discovery Center invites visitors engage in self-directed learning through the beautiful and realistic interpretive displays detailing the natural, cultural, and industrial history of the Connecticut River watershed. Saturday, February 18 through Sunday, February 26 the center will be expanding their hours and providing investigation stations on various topics. Tuesday, February 21 through Thursday, February 23, learn about indoor birding! 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, February 21, 11am-3pm
CREATIVE FREE PLAY/MUSEUM ADVENTURES
Play is the work of childhood. Creative, self-directed play teaches children physical, mental, social, and emotional skills- all while they’re having a great time. Ten Days of Play at the Berkshire Museum encourages youth to experiment, improvise, create, and learn while they play. Visit the brand new Curiosity Incubator, as well as a LEGO® station, Tegu magnetic block station, and the Imagination Playground. These open-ended, child-directed stations are bound to bring out your child’s natural instinct for creative free play. Ten Days of Play activities are included with regular Museum admission and will be available daily from 11am-3pm daily, and 12pm-3pm on Sundays through February 26, in connection with Pittsfield’s 10×10 Upstreet Arts Festival. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Route 7. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, February 21
ARCHERY/ART

February vacation at Amherst Archery! Picture spending all day at the archery range immersed in a wide variety of kid and teen-accessible archery activities! Besides Olympic-style target archery and plenty of archery games, kids will also engage in archery art projects, make their own arm guards from recycled materials, explore archery history, anatomy of archery, and even learn some fun physics through hands-on archery experiences. Each day will provide different surprises. All archery and art supplies provided. Families provide lunch and snacks. The now famous “ARTchery” project will be included! Programs taught by certified USA Archery coaches at the range in Florence. Enroll for the entire week or by the day. Ages 7 and up. www.amherstarchery.com.

Tuesday, February 21, 1pm
ANIMAL STUDIES/ZOOLOGY
 Does your child like observing animals? This natural interest in animal studies can potentially grow into a study of biology, nature studies, veterinary studies and much more. Children ages seven and up, and their caregivers, are invited to the live animal show “Jungle Encounters: Prey or Predator?” at Grace Hall Memorial Library to see small, live, wild cats! Attendees will learn how wild cats, like Bobcats, Savannah Cats and Bengal cats survive in nature. 413-862-3894. 161 Main Road. Montgomery, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, February 21, 1:30pm
FILM STUDIES/FAIRY TALES
Films are an integral part of modern culture, with family films teaching kids about life through access to all kinds of narratives. KidsBestFest, an annual, free film festival at the Academy of Music Theatre, celebrates the best in films created for and by youth! The 2017 festival will run daily from February 20 through February 24, culminating in YouthFilm, a screening of movies created by young filmmakers. On February 21, family members young and old can see the classic 1983 film The Little Mermaid (Rated G). This popular movie incorporates music and beautiful animation in a retelling of the 1837 Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale. See it on the big screen while you can! 413-584-9032. 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

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Wednesday, February 22nd, 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.

Tuesday, February 21, 8:45am-3:30pm
OUTDOOR ADVENTURES/NORDIC SKIING
Tuesday, February 21, to Friday, February 24, 8:45am-3:30pm: Kids ski and chill out during school vacation week at Notchview! In the morning, kids learn to ski or fine tune their skiing skills with knowledgeable ski instructors. After a full morning of cross-country skiing on the trails, everyone heads back to the lodge for lunch followed by an afternoon of choice activities including more outdoor exploration of the woods or indoor arts and crafts. Lunch included! Ages 7-12. There are still spots available! Members: $288; Nonmembers: $360. To register email acaluori@thetrustees.org or call 413-628-4485 x3. Windsor, MA ($$$)

Wednesday, February 22, 9am-1pm
PLACEMAKING/ART STUDIES
10×20 Upstreet Arts Festival consists of ten days of community-based cultural events that showcase music, theater, art, local food, play and creativity and celebrate the rich arts and culture found in the communities of the Berkshires! This annual winter celebration features daily performances and activities to connect you to your area and to other community members. Programs on February 22 will include family theater, yoga and more. Visit the Discover Pittsfield website for a full schedule of events. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE – $$)

Wednesday, February 22
HISTORY/AVIATION
February school vacation week activities at New England Air Museum! Monday, February 20th through Friday February 24th, in Windsor Locks, CT . Explore three giant exhibit hangars filled with over sixty historic aircraft, and experience the wonders of flight through hands-on activities including 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. The Virtual Flight Center is open to visitors ages 10 and older. For updated information and more special events, visit: www.neam.org. Windsor Locks, CT ($)

Wednesday, February 22, 9am-5pm
CRAFTS/NATURE STUDIES
For February school vacation week, families can visit the Springfield Armory National Historic Site and learn about a range of topics far beyond local military history. The museum will be offering lots of hands-on activities for all ages, including Junior Ranger activities. Participants are invited to make a pine cone bird feeder using sunflower butter and birdseed (this take-home activity can lead to even more learning as you observe birds in your backyard!) Share your experience with others by making a postcard with rubber stamps of animals who live on the grounds of the armory. Finally, Junior Rangers can make their own Stetson hat decorated with crayons, rubber stamps, and craft paper. 413-734-8551. One Armory Square. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, February 22, 10am-4pm
ZOOLOGY
This February school vacation week, keep the learning going by visiting a nature center!
Great Falls Discovery Center invites visitors engage in self-directed learning through the beautiful and realistic interpretive displays detailing the natural, cultural, and industrial history of the Connecticut River watershed. Saturday, February 18 through Sunday, February 26 the center will be expanding their hours and providing investigation stations on various topics. Tuesday, February 21 through Thursday, February 23, learn about indoor birding! 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, February 22, 11am-3pm
CREATIVE FREE PLAY/MUSEUM ADVENTURES
Play is the work of childhood. Creative, self-directed play teaches children physical, mental, social, and emotional skills- all while they’re having a great time. Ten Days of Play at the Berkshire Museum encourages youth to experiment, improvise, create, and learn while they play. Visit the brand new Curiosity Incubator, as well as a LEGO® station, Tegu magnetic block station, and the Imagination Playground. These open-ended, child-directed stations are bound to bring out your child’s natural instinct for creative free play. Ten Days of Play activities are included with regular Museum admission and will be available daily from 11am-3pm daily, and 12pm-3pm on Sundays through February 26, in connection with Pittsfield’s 10×10 Upstreet Arts Festival. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Route 7. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, February 22
ARCHERY/ART

February vacation at Amherst Archery! Picture spending all day at the archery range immersed in a wide variety of kid and teen-accessible archery activities! Besides Olympic-style target archery and plenty of archery games, kids will also engage in archery art projects, make their own arm guards from recycled materials, explore archery history, anatomy of archery, and even learn some fun physics through hands-on archery experiences. Each day will provide different surprises. All archery and art supplies provided. Families provide lunch and snacks. The now famous “ARTchery” project will be included! Programs taught by certified USA Archery coaches at the range in Florence. Enroll for the entire week or by the day. Ages 7 and up. www.amherstarchery.com.

Wednesday, February 22, 12:30pm
MUSIC STUDIES
Philip Glass is a contemporary composer whose minimal, repetitive scores have strongly influenced music from the late 20th century to the present. Felix Mendelssohn, was a musical prodigy who played piano, composed, and conducted music in the early 1800s. Hear compositions from both Glass and Mendelssohn performed by pianist Judith Glass at Smith College. Sweeney Concert Hall. Sage Hall. 144 Green Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, February 22, 12:30pm
FILM STUDIES/ORNITHOLOGY
In the spring and summer months you undoubtedly notice the increase in bird populations. Where do these migratory birds go in the winter? How far do they travel and what is their journey like? You and your family can find out by viewing the visually stunning 2001 film Winged Migration (Rated G) at Amherst Cinema. These filmmakers used state-of-the-art technology to capture flocks of birds in flight. This film is being screened as part of Amherst Cinema’s “Science on Screen” series. Bird expert and nursery manager at the Hadley Garden Center, Dan Ziomek, will introduce the film, adding to the educational experience of the screening by teaching audience members even more about migratory birds. 413- 253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (<$)

Wednesday, February 22, 12:30pm
FAMILY FILM
Watching films from another era can teach us about the cultural context in which they were produced. This is as true of classic films as it is of cartoons! Looney Tunes originally aired between 1930 and 1969, yet many of the show’s characters are recognizable to children today. You can screen Looney Tunes Revue, a selection of episodes with characters such as Bugs Bunny and Porky Pig, as well as lesser-knowns like Hubie and Bertie the mice and bulldog Marc Antony. These films are open to everyone, all ages, at a special, family-friendly price during February school vacation week. 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (<$)

Wednesday, February 22, 1:30pm
DANCE STUDIES/CHOREOGRAPHY
Films are an integral part of modern culture, with family films teaching kids about life through access to all kinds of narratives. KidsBestFest, an annual, free film festival at the Academy of Music Theatre, celebrates the best in films created for and by youth! The 2017 festival will run daily from February 20 through February 24, culminating in YouthFilm, a screening of movies created by young filmmakers. On February 22, the 2013 documentary Trash Dance will introduce you to real men and women employed as sanitation workers, and the spectacular performance choreographer Allison Orr creates with their help. This film may get you thinking about ways to find beauty in unexpected places. 413-584-9032. 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

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Thursday, February 23rd, 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.

Tuesday, February 21, 8:45am-3:30pm
OUTDOOR ADVENTURES/NORDIC SKIING
Tuesday, February 21, to Friday, February 24, 8:45am-3:30pm: Kids ski and chill out during school vacation week at Notchview! In the morning, kids learn to ski or fine tune their skiing skills with knowledgeable ski instructors. After a full morning of cross-country skiing on the trails, everyone heads back to the lodge for lunch followed by an afternoon of choice activities including more outdoor exploration of the woods or indoor arts and crafts. Lunch included! Ages 7-12. There are still spots available! Members: $288; Nonmembers: $360. To register email acaluori@thetrustees.org or call 413-628-4485 x3. Windsor, MA ($$$)

Thursday, February 23, 9am-9:15pm
PLACEMAKING/ART STUDIES
10×20 Upstreet Arts Festival consists of ten days of community-based cultural events that showcase music, theater, art, local food, play and creativity and celebrate the rich arts and culture found in the communities of the Berkshires! This annual winter celebration features daily performances and activities to connect you to your area and to other community members. Programs on February 23 will include family theater, a photographic art exhibition, Pecha Kucha presentations and more. Visit the Discover Pittsfield website for a full schedule of events. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE – $$)

Thursday, February 23
HISTORY/AVIATION
February school vacation week activities at New England Air Museum! Monday, February 20th through Friday February 24th, in Windsor Locks, CT . Explore three giant exhibit hangars filled with over sixty historic aircraft, and experience the wonders of flight through hands-on activities including 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. The Virtual Flight Center is open to visitors ages 10 and older. For updated information and more special events, visit: www.neam.org. Windsor Locks, CT ($)

Thursday, February 23, 9am-5pm
CRAFTS/NATURE STUDIES
For February school vacation week, families can visit the Springfield Armory National Historic Site and learn about a range of topics far beyond local military history. The museum will be offering lots of hands-on activities for all ages, including Junior Ranger activities. Participants are invited to make a pine cone bird feeder using sunflower butter and birdseed (this take-home activity can lead to even more learning as you observe birds in your backyard!) Share your experience with others by making a postcard with rubber stamps of animals who live on the grounds of the armory. Finally, Junior Rangers can make their own Stetson hat decorated with crayons, rubber stamps, and craft paper. 413-734-8551. One Armory Square. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, February 23, 10am-4pm
ZOOLOGY
This February school vacation week, keep the learning going by visiting a nature center!
Great Falls Discovery Center invites visitors engage in self-directed learning through the beautiful and realistic interpretive displays detailing the natural, cultural, and industrial history of the Connecticut River watershed. Saturday, February 18 through Sunday, February 26 the center will be expanding their hours and providing investigation stations on various topics. Tuesday, February 21 through Thursday, February 23, learn about indoor birding! 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, February 23, 11am-3pm
CREATIVE FREE PLAY/MUSEUM ADVENTURES
Play is the work of childhood. Creative, self-directed play teaches children physical, mental, social, and emotional skills- all while they’re having a great time. Ten Days of Play at the Berkshire Museum encourages youth to experiment, improvise, create, and learn while they play. Visit the brand new Curiosity Incubator, as well as a LEGO® station, Tegu magnetic block station, and the Imagination Playground. These open-ended, child-directed stations are bound to bring out your child’s natural instinct for creative free play. Ten Days of Play activities are included with regular Museum admission and will be available daily from 11am-3pm daily, and 12pm-3pm on Sundays through February 26, in connection with Pittsfield’s 10×10 Upstreet Arts Festival. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Route 7. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, February 23, 12:30pm
FAMILY FILM
Watching films from another era can teach us about the cultural context in which they were produced. This is as true of classic films as it is of cartoons! Looney Tunes originally aired between 1930 and 1969, yet many of the show’s characters are recognizable to children today. You can screen Looney Tunes Revue, a selection of episodes with characters such as Bugs Bunny and Porky Pig, as well as lesser-knowns like Hubie and Bertie the mice and bulldog Marc Antony. These films are open to everyone, all ages, at a special, family-friendly price during February school vacation week. 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (<$)

Thursday, February 23
ARCHERY/ART

February vacation at Amherst Archery! Picture spending all day at the archery range immersed in a wide variety of kid and teen-accessible archery activities! Besides Olympic-style target archery and plenty of archery games, kids will also engage in archery art projects, make their own arm guards from recycled materials, explore archery history, anatomy of archery, and even learn some fun physics through hands-on archery experiences. Each day will provide different surprises. All archery and art supplies provided. Families provide lunch and snacks. The now famous “ARTchery” project will be included! Programs taught by certified USA Archery coaches at the range in Florence. Enroll for the entire week or by the day. Ages 7 and up. www.amherstarchery.com.

Thursday, February 23, 1pm-3pm
GAMES/INTERGENERATIONAL
Family game sessions 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 experience by joining other families at the Meekins Library Game Afternoon. All ages are welcome and there will be snacks! Drop in anytime. Ages five and under must be accompanied by an adult. 413-268-7472. 2 Williams Street. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, February 23, 1:30pm
FILM STUDIES
Films are an integral part of modern culture, with family films teaching kids about life through access to all kinds of narratives. KidsBestFest, an annual, free film festival at the Academy of Music Theatre, celebrates the best in films created for and by youth! The 2017 festival will run daily from February 20 through February 24, culminating in YouthFilm, a screening of movies created by young filmmakers. On February 23, you can learn all about the global appeal of LEGOs by viewing the 2014 documentary, A LEGO Brickumentary. LEGOs were invented in Denmark as a construction toy, and have achieved widespread appeal since their inception in 1949. 413-584-9032. 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, February 23, 2pm-3pm
MUSIC STUDIES
When you listen to music, multiple areas of your brain become engaged and active. But when you actually play an instrument, that activity becomes more like a full-body brain workout. At the Berkshire Museum’s Instrument Petting Zoo, participants will be able to see, listen to, and play lots of different instruments! Picking the right instrument is an important factor for sustaining a lifelong hobby of musicianship. Explore risk-free as part of Ten Days of Play 2017. Included with regular museum admission. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Route 7. Pittsfield, MA. ($; children under 18 <$; members, ages three and under FREE)

Thursday, February 23, 3:30pm-4:30pm
ENGINEERING/MAKERSPACE
Lying in the space between ideas and their physical manifestations, makerspaces cater to the creators amongst 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 making dot art. No registration is needed. 413-736-4561. 200 Park Street. West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, February 23, 6pm-8pm
IMMIGRATION STUDIES/CULTURAL PRESERVATION
Immigration stories are integral to the history and present culture of our communities. If you have an immigration story to share, The Berkshire Immigrant Stories Project will be offering assistance with the process of digitizing a chosen object and narrating a personal story. These narratives and artifacts will be shared on the “Your Story, Our Story” website. This workshop at the Berkshire Athenaeum is one in a series of three. Laptops, scanners, digital cameras will be provided, as well as food and drink. There will be writing and translation assistance available. The workshop is open to all. For more information on participating in the project or volunteering: call 413-236-4607. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE/VOLUNTEER)

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Friday, February 24th, 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.

Tuesday, February 21, 8:45am-3:30pm
OUTDOOR ADVENTURES/NORDIC SKIING
Tuesday, February 21, to Friday, February 24, 8:45am-3:30pm: Kids ski and chill out during school vacation week at Notchview! In the morning, kids learn to ski or fine tune their skiing skills with knowledgeable ski instructors. After a full morning of cross-country skiing on the trails, everyone heads back to the lodge for lunch followed by an afternoon of choice activities including more outdoor exploration of the woods or indoor arts and crafts. Lunch included! Ages 7-12. There are still spots available! Members: $288; Nonmembers: $360. To register email acaluori@thetrustees.org or call 413-628-4485 x3. Windsor, MA ($$$)

Friday, February 24, 9am-10:30pm
PLACEMAKING/ART STUDIES
10×20 Upstreet Arts Festival consists of ten days of community-based cultural events that showcase music, theater, art, local food, play and creativity and celebrate the rich arts and culture found in the communities of the Berkshires! This annual winter celebration features daily performances and activities to connect you to your area and to other community members. Programs on February 24 will include a performance by Jacob’s Pillow Dance Company, history through photography, and ten minute plays! Visit the Discover Pittsfield website for a full schedule of events. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE – $$)

Friday, February 24
HISTORY/AVIATION
February school vacation week activities at New England Air Museum! Monday, February 20th through Friday February 24th, in Windsor Locks, CT . Explore three giant exhibit hangars filled with over sixty historic aircraft, and experience the wonders of flight through hands-on activities including 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. The Virtual Flight Center is open to visitors ages 10 and older. For updated information and more special events, visit: www.neam.org. Windsor Locks, CT ($)

Friday, February 24, 9am-5pm
CRAFTS/NATURE STUDIES
For February school vacation week, families can visit the Springfield Armory National Historic Site and learn about a range of topics far beyond local military history. The museum will be offering lots of hands-on activities for all ages, including Junior Ranger activities. Participants are invited to make a pine cone bird feeder using sunflower butter and birdseed (this take-home activity can lead to even more learning as you observe birds in your backyard!) Share your experience with others by making a postcard with rubber stamps of animals who live on the grounds of the armory. Finally, Junior Rangers can make their own Stetson hat decorated with crayons, rubber stamps, and craft paper. 413-734-8551. One Armory Square. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, February 24, 10am-4pm
ZOOLOGY
This February school vacation week, keep the learning going by visiting a nature center!
Great Falls Discovery Center invites visitors engage in self-directed learning through the beautiful and realistic interpretive displays detailing the natural, cultural, and industrial history of the Connecticut River watershed. Saturday, February 18 through Sunday, February 26 the center will be expanding their hours and providing investigation stations on various topics. Friday, February 24 through Sunday, February 26, learn all about dinosaurs! 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Friday, February 24, 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 bears! Siblings and friends welcome. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Friday, February 24, 11am-1pm
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 24
ARCHERY/ART

February vacation at Amherst Archery! Picture spending all day at the archery range immersed in a wide variety of kid and teen-accessible archery activities! Besides Olympic-style target archery and plenty of archery games, kids will also engage in archery art projects, make their own arm guards from recycled materials, explore archery history, anatomy of archery, and even learn some fun physics through hands-on archery experiences. Each day will provide different surprises. All archery and art supplies provided. Families provide lunch and snacks. The now famous “ARTchery” project will be included! Programs taught by certified USA Archery coaches at the range in Florence. Enroll for the entire week or by the day. Ages 7 and up. www.amherstarchery.com.

Friday, February 24, 11am-3pm
CREATIVE FREE PLAY/MUSEUM ADVENTURES
Play is the work of childhood. Creative, self-directed play teaches children physical, mental, social, and emotional skills- all while they’re having a great time. Ten Days of Play at the Berkshire Museum encourages youth to experiment, improvise, create, and learn while they play. Visit the brand new Curiosity Incubator, as well as a LEGO® station, Tegu magnetic block station, and the Imagination Playground. These open-ended, child-directed stations are bound to bring out your child’s natural instinct for creative free play. Ten Days of Play activities are included with regular Museum admission and will be available daily from 11am-3pm daily, and 12pm-3pm on Sundays through February 26, in connection with Pittsfield’s 10×10 Upstreet Arts Festival. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Route 7. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, February 24, 12:30pm
FAMILY FILM
Watching films from another era can teach us about the cultural context in which they were produced. This is as true of classic films as it is of cartoons! Looney Tunes originally aired between 1930 and 1969, yet many of the show’s characters are recognizable to children today. You can screen Looney Tunes Revue, a selection of episodes with characters such as Bugs Bunny and Porky Pig, as well as lesser-knowns like Hubie and Bertie the mice and bulldog Marc Antony. These films are open to everyone, all ages, at a special, family-friendly price during February school vacation week. 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (<$)

Friday, February 24, 1:30pm
FILM STUDIES
Films are an integral part of modern culture, with family films teaching kids about life through access to all kinds of narratives. KidsBestFest, an annual, free film festival at the Academy of Music Theatre, celebrates the best in films created for and by youth! The 2017 festival will run daily from February 20 through February 24. Attend the final day and get a taste of the next generation of filmmakers! The festival will culminate with YouthFilm, a screening of movies created by young filmmakers. Filmmaking is often a collaborative art form, incorporating writing, music, acting, directing, editing and much more. Filmmaking can connect young people to each other and to make other artistic art forms. Kids and teens are bound to be inspired by YouthFilm! 413-584-9032. 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Friday, February 24, 2:30pm
STEM/PHYSICS
Introducing young people to scientific concepts in a fun atmosphere can help remove any intimidation they feel about science. Young people are naturally inquisitive and may not realize that this inclination towards exploring is, at its heart, scientific! Youth ages nine and up are welcome to participate in a Science Rocks program at the West Springfield Public Library. On February 24, participants can learn physics concepts such as weight and gravity by playing the floating ball game! 413-736-4561. 200 Park Street. West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, February 24, 8pm
ASTRONOMY
Astronomy is a natural science which applies mathematics, physics, and chemistry. Astronomers use various mathematical and scientific methods to answer questions such as the distance between celestial bodies, their physical movements, and even their origins. Studying astronomy formally can appeal to people with strong mathematical and scientific inclinations. At the same time, nearly anyone can appreciate the beauty and wonder of the night sky. Whether your interest is scientific, artistic, or spiritual in nature, you can learn about astronomy by attending free shows for the public held at the Milham Planetarium, located inside the Old Hopkins Observatory at Williams College. Astronomy students will use the Zeiss Skymaster to demonstrate phenomena such as retrograde motions of planets, phases of the moon, and locations of neighboring galaxies. They will teach audiences about mythological figures and zodiacal signs ascribed to constellations, artificial satellites, and much more. Shows run Fridays through through May 12, with the exception of March 17, 24, and 31. Call 413-597-2188 for reservations. 829 Main Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

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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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