Suggested Events for March 4th – March 10th, 2017

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

What we enjoy most about Hilltown Families is… “the incredible number of events that are included in the weekly suggestions – most importantly free or low cost events! With the weekly suggestions in my inbox, there is never an excuse to stay home on a weekend day – except, of course, for the sheer exhaustion of parenting!” – Mairin Brady (Whately, MA)

What we enjoy most about Hilltown Families is… “the incredible number of events that are included in the weekly suggestions – most importantly free or low cost events! With the weekly suggestions in my inbox, there is never an excuse to stay home on a weekend day – except, of course, for the sheer exhaustion of parenting!” – Mairin Brady (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.

Hilltown Families Events

Saturday, March 18, 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! After a free breakfast of fresh pancakes, juice, and fruit, Scotty Swan will present The Fuzznogginz Puppet Party! This will be a combination of a magic AND puppet show together in one big spectacular extravaganza! There will be lots of comedy, funny puppetry, and amazing magic combined with plenty of audience participation. Audience members are invited to come on stage to become puppeteers and learn how a puppet show works.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

PreK – 6th

Whately Elementary School has school choice openings! Whately Elementary is a small, rural public school, Pre-K through 6th Grade with an average class size of 18 students, talented educators and a very supportive parent community. Offering Spanish, Art, Music, PE and Gardening. Band & Strings instruction for upper grades. Student-centered academics with a school-wide emphasis on social-emotional learning and community service locally & globally. Currently developing a new 4-H club. They are currently accepting school choice applications for openings in kindergarten through 5th Grade. Accepting registrations for full-day preschool. For more information, please call Mary at 413-665-7826. An Eco-friendly, composting school. www.frsu38.org/wes.

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.

Open House: Mar 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-March 8 at 5:30pm, at Smith College Seeley Hall Rm. 101.

Mar 11

The New England Air Museum in Windsor Locks, CT will re-launch its annual Women Take Flight Day on Saturday, March 11 from 10:00am-4:00pm in commemoration of Women’s History Month. Visitors of all ages are invited to celebrate women’s contributions to aerospace history through special events, and three special guest speakers. Visitors will have the opportunity to meet other women pilots, engineers, and aerospace industry specialists, and featuring the same model aircraft that Amelia Earhart flew. Real life “Rosie the Riveters,” women WASP pilots from World War II, and more. A series of activity stations will also be available for younger visitors, and a variety of flight simulators allow visitors to become virtual pilots. For more information: www.neam.org.

Mar 11

Join Nonotuck Community School’s Annual Family Dance Party! The morning will be filled with fun activities for all ages including live music by DandyLion’s Garden, games, dancing with special guest DJ, food, crafts, and more! The event will take place on Saturday, March 11th from 10am-12pm at Jackson Street Elementary School in Northampton (120 Jackson St). Tickets are $5 per person/$12 per family, www.nonotuck.org.

Mar 13-19

Downtown Amherst Restaurant Week, March 13-19. Take a bite out of the last week of winter! A wonderful array of restaurants offer special dishes, multi course meals and traditional St. Patrick’s Day dishes. You can span the globe from our beautiful downtown by sampling diverse cuisine, including Himalayan/Nepalese, Persian, Northern Italian, Mediterranean and New American. Bread made from scratch daily, treasured family recipes, local and organic ingredients and exceptional pairings are on the menu. Book a cozy booth or a long center table for a feast with friends and family. More information and menus: www.amherstdowntown.com/events/restaurant-week. Questions? Contact ann@amherstdowntown.com.

Open House: Mar 4

The Common School: Community, collaboration, social justice, intrinsic motivation, deep understanding, diversity, inclusivity, environmental education- Come learn how these words are put into action at their Nursery Open House, Saturday, March 4, from 10am-12noon. Featuring: Teaching Creatures at 11:30am with their special program: Amazing Mammals. Play in their classrooms, meet their teachers, and chat with current parents. Light refreshments provided. Questions? Contact Director of Admissions, Dana Kadish at outreach@commonschool.org or visit www.commonschool.org.

Open House: Mar 11

Open House at the Hartsbrook School: Experience the warmth and imagination in a Waldorf early childhood classroom. Teachers will be offering activities for children ages 2-6 in the classroom and on the play yard. Crafts, puppet show and snack will nourish your child’s senses while allowing a glimpse into how the teachers prepare children to meet the future with a strong foundation and joyful aliveness. Families with children in grades 1-12 are also welcome for a tour and discussion with the enrollment director. Imagine the possibilities for your child! Saturday, March 11, 10am to 12noon at 193 Bay Road in Hadley, MA. 413-586-1908. www.hartsbrook.org.

Jun 26 – Aug 11

Join Journey Camp at Woolman Hill, Deerfield and at Open View Farm, Conway this summer! The supportive staff makes it easy to find new friends while exploring nature, theater, games, music, and crafts. Inclusiveness and peace building are hallmarks of Journey Camp. Founder and Director, Sarah Pirtle, has numerous awards for her books and music for children. Farm Week Session for All ages 7-12, June 26-30,8:45-4pm, Conway; Session One for All ages 7-12, July 3-7, 8:45-4, Deerfield; Moonseed Teen Leadership Camp for ages 12-18, July 17-20, two overnights & campfires, Deerfield; Girls Weeks, ages 7-12, July 31-Aug 4 & Aug 7-11, 8:45-4, Deerfield. www.sarahpirtle.com. Contact: 413-588-6399; marsha.journey@gmail.com.

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.

2017 Preschool Directory for 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
March 4th – March 10th, 2017

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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, March 4, 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 children’s book author and musician Johnette Downing and Grammy Award winning producer Scott Billington for a showcase of Cajun, New Orleans Rhythm and Blues, Zydeco, Brass Band and Jazz music by Louisiana artists. 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, March 4, 8:30am-4pm
BOTANY
Spring comes sooner than you might think, at the Pioneer Valley’s local greenhouses! Spring bulb shows signal the coming end of winter and offer families an opportunity to learn together about habitat, the life cycle of plants, and species identification. A visit to a bulb show can support or inspire a love for flowers and learning about botany, plant and soil science, and possibly even evolutionary biology. Charles Darwin, in his study of natural selection, examined the co-evolution of orchids and insect species. Visiting the greenhouse can be an opportunity for you and your children to think about this interrelation of plants and insects. Or you may simply want to see the beautiful sights and smell the fragrant flowers! The Smith College Bulb Show runs from March 4 through March 19. Lyman Conservatory. 16 College Lane. Northampton, MA. (<$)

Saturday, March 4, 9:30-11am
OPEN HOUSE
Sunnyside Child Care Center
is holding an Open House. 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. 413-727-3665. www.sunnysidekids.org. 557 Easthampton Rd. Northampton, MA (FREE)

Saturday, March 4, 9am-3pm
ANGLING/ICE FISHING
 Ice fishing is practiced all over the world in areas where bodies of water freeze. Ice fishing has different cultural purposes in different areas. In Finland, for example, ice fishing is typically a solitary sport, with contemplation a signature aspect of the experience. In New England, in contrast, ice fishing is often a social activity, sometimes involving contests. You can attend a fishing derby and educational program open to all Boy Scouts and their families, at Chesterfield Scout Reservation. For more information contact Tim Vogel at tim@tekoamountainoutdoors.com or Jim Lagacy at jim.lagacy@state.ma.us. 22 Sugar Hill Road. Williamsburg, MA. (<$)

Saturday, March 5, 9am-4:30pm
STEM/ENGINEERING
Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) are highly respected and lucrative career areas with lots of exciting, innovative job opportunities. Unfortunately, only twenty-four percent of STEM workers are women (U.S. Department of Commerce). As part of National Engineers Week, Smith College is doing their part to introduce girls to coding in a fun, inclusive environment. Girls in grades six through eight are invited to register for either the morning or afternoon session and learn the basics of a very exciting field. 100 Green Street. Ford Hall. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 4, 9:30am-4pm
LIVING HISTORY/NEW ENGLAND HISTORY
The ground is thawing, the snow is melting, and the sap is running for maple season! Maple sugaring is a centuries-old tradition in New England, and the seasonal industry remains an important part of the foundation upon which local agricultural is built. On Maple Days at Old Sturbridge Village, attendees have the opportunity to see the entire maple sugaring process, as it was done in early 19th-century rural New England. Costumed historians will also be cooking historically accurate period foods. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. (Adult $$; Ages 3-17 <$; 2 and under FREE)

Saturday, March 4, 10am
OUTDOOR ADVENTURES/ANIMAL TRACKING
 Learning to identify animal tracks and signs can help you expand your understanding of local habitat and ecology, while also satisfying a natural inquisitiveness. Kids and adults who enjoy puzzles and critical thinking can combine this interest with the positive effects of time spend outdoors by attending an animal tracking workshop. Noble View Outdoor Center hosts this wildlife tracking event. Registration is required and space is limited. 413-572-4501. 635 S Quarter Road. Russell, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 4, 10am
LITERACY/PLACEMAKING
Learning about local history can support placemaking, as you gain an understanding and appreciation for the historic culture of the area in which you live. Dr. Seuss’s Birthday Pajama Party at Springfield Museums invites families to learn about Springfield native Theodore Geisel, also known as Dr. Seuss, through interactive gallery activities. Participate in Dr. Seuss trivia, make art, dance, and more! Participants will learn all about how Springfield and the surrounding area influenced Geisel’s life and work. Visit the Springfield Museums website for a full schedule of events, all included with regular museum admission. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. ($. Ages 3-17 <$. Children under two FREE)

Saturday, March 4, 10am-11:30am
LANGUAGE LEARNING/SPANISH
Learning a second language is a fun and exciting challenge for the brain. Spanish is the second most widely spoken language in the world. For that reason it is a very practical and enriching second language to learn. Non-native speakers who wish to practice their Spanish are invited to a four-week series of conversation sessions at the Jones Library. Saturdays March 4, March 11, March 18 and March 25, meet other community members and improve your Spanish speaking skills in a relaxed environment. To learn more about the advantages of learning a second language, as well as resources for language learning, read our post: Language Learning Resources in Western MA. Registration is required. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 4, 10am-12pm
PARENTING/EDUCATION
The Common School provides education with a focus on community, collaboration, social justice, intrinsic motivation, deep understanding, diversity, inclusivity, environmental awareness. Parents are invited to come learn how these words are put into action at their Nursery Open House. The open house will also feature Teaching Creatures at 11:30 a.m. with their special program: Amazing Mammals. Play in their classrooms, meet their teachers, and chat with current parents. Light refreshments provided. Questions? Contact Director of Admissions, Dana Kadish at outreach@commonschool.org. 521 South Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 4, 10am-12pm
BOTANY/HERBALISM
Tinctures are liquid plant extracts used for various medicinal purposes. Learning to create tinctures can connect you with your local habitat as you learn to identify plant species which have positive medicinal uses! You are invited to a workshop, “The Backyard Herbalist,” to learn about beneficial native plants, as well as how to prepare wild edible foods and extract plants for tinctures. Green Fields Market. 144 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (DONATION)

Saturday, March 4, 10am-1pm
BOTANY/PLANT AND SOIL SCIENCE
The ancient practice of swapping seeds serves many purposes: ensuring food security, building community ties, and increasing biodiversity. Even if you don’t have seeds to share, you can come to a seed swap at Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School. In addition to acquiring new seeds and making good use of your excess seeds, you can learn about seed saving and swap farming/gardening techniques. In addition to seed swapping, there will be workshops on topics such as plant breeding and indigenous seed keeping. 80 Locust Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 4, 10am-4:30pm
MUSIC STUDIES/JAZZ STUDIES
Jazz is a musical genres with many sub genres. One element which separates jazz from many (but not all) other types of music is that it involves improvisation, challenging jazz performers to come up with solos on the spot. The Five College Jazz Festival will feature a range of performances by student ensembles, vocal groups and big bands. “Big band jazz” refers to an era of jazz which took place primarily during the 1930s and 1940s, though big band style compositions are still written and performed today. Attend the festival for a crash course in jazz studies. Smith College. Carroll Room. Campus Center. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 4, 11am-12:30pm
ORNITHOLOGY
How many birds can you identify? Father and son team Devin and Aidan Griffiths will be teaching attendees at the Whately Library all about the bay state’s winter birds. Learn about native species and be on the lookout for them as winter winds to a close. New England is home to ducks, geese, gulls, raptors, and many other birds who remain even through the coldest days of winter. 413-665-2170. 202 Chestnut Plain Road. Whately, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 4, 11am-12:50pm
ICE SKATING/FUNDRAISER
Ice skating is a fun, intergenerational activity that gets kids up and moving and improving physical skills like balance and coordination. All are welcome to an all ages open skate at the Mullins Center at UMass Amherst, as a fundraiser for the Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech. There will be baked sale goodies and raffle prizes with all proceeds helping fund Clarke’s specialized K-8 program for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Meet other families and get some exercises while supporting this local, educational resource. Commonwealth Avenue. Amherst, MA. (<$)

Saturday, March 4, 12:30pm-3:30pm
LITERACY/WRITING
Local authors enrich the artistic culture of our area. Authors often give talks about their work and their writing process, educating local readings as well as aspiring writers. You have the chance to meet several local writers at the Springfield City Library’s Author Fair. The authors will be present for discussion of their books and to sign copies. There will be nonfiction writers, poets, novelists, and children’s book authors in attendance. Get acquainted with the Pioneer Valley’s rich culture of creative thinkers. 413-263-6828. 220 State Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 4, 2:00pm
NEW ENGLAND HISTORY
Come, learn about the battle of Antietam, the single bloodiest day in the Civil War, from stories of New Englanders who were there. John Banks, author of Connecticut Yankees at Antietam used diaries, pension records and soldiers’ letters to give voices to the personal stories of Connecticut and Massachusetts soldiers who fought that day. You can hear him relay these stories in a free lecture at Springfield Armory National Historic Site. Call 413-734-8551 with questions. One Armory Square. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 4, 2:30pm and 4:30pm
AGRICULTURE/FILM STUDIES
Do you know where your food comes from? Agriculture is a business which affects all of us, whether we realize it or not, and it is a business currently undergoing drastic changes in conjunction with political and cultural shifts. “Fresh Fest 2017” is a film series at Images Cinema, featuring documentaries about agriculture. On March 4, you can see the 2015 film A Small Good Thing, a story set in the Berkshires. This film analyzes a cultural shift from a “more is better” philosophy toward a more holistic conception of happiness. Then, at 4:30pm, you can view the 2016 film, Peter and The Farm, which depicts the legacy of a Vermont farmer, relaying the agricultural wisdom he has gained through many years as proprietor of the 187 acre Mile Hill Farm. Attend the festival and learn more about agriculture, an important business and cultural staple in Western Massachusetts. 50 Spring Street. 413-458-5612. Williamstown, MA. (<$)

Saturday, March 4, 2pm and 7pm
JAZZ STUDIES
In conjunction with the Five College Jazz Festival, the Mount Holyoke College Jazz Ensembles presents “The Big Broadcast!” This annual show is a tribute to 1940s radio, directed by Mark Gionfriddo with special guest Channel 22’s Brian Lapis. Tickets are available at the UMASS Fine Arts Center Box Office by phone at 413-545-2511. Mount Holyoke College. Chapin Auditorium. South Hadley, MA. ($; students <$)

Saturday, March 4, 4pm-7pm
COMMUNITY MEAL/CREATIVE FREE PLAY
Northampton Parents Center gatherings encourage community-building for parents and creative free play for kids! Children ages birth through kindergarten age, and their caregivers, are invited to a playtime, and optional potluck dinner with a performance by Little Roots! Older siblings and alumni are also welcome to join. Older siblings and alumni are welcome to join us! If you can bring a dish to share, please do, if not, you are still welcome to join. Donations are always welcomed. 297 Main Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE/DONATION)

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Sunday, March 5, 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 our 2013 Mardi Gras episode. Children’s book author and musician Johnette Downing and Grammy Award winning producer Scott Billington offer a showcase of Cajun, New Orleans Rhythm and Blues, Zydeco, Brass Band and Jazz music by Louisiana artists. Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcast anytime – click here to see over 9 years of archived shows.

Sunday, March 5, 9am-12pm
OUTDOOR ADVENTURES/PHOTOGRAPHY
 Did you know that there are specific cameras and techniques for capturing wildlife in photographs and videos? Capturing wildlife on film poses unique challenges: how do you photograph animals without scaring them away? How do you capture motion in a photograph? Nature photography is the perfect artistic hobby for people who like to spend time outdoors and learn about animals and ecology. Expert animal tracker Jess Applin will be teaching participants techniques for tracking wildlife as well as how to capture great images in the woods, in a participatory workshop on February 12 and March 5. Space is limited. Call 413-623-2070 or email volunteer@wildscenicwestfieldriver.org to register and for directions. Chesterfield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday March 5, 9:30am-4pm
LIVING HISTORY/NEW ENGLAND HISTORY
The ground is thawing, the snow is melting, and the sap is running for maple season! Maple sugaring is a centuries-old tradition in New England, and the seasonal industry remains an important part of the foundation upon which local agricultural is built. On Maple Days at Old Sturbridge Village, attendees have the opportunity to see the entire maple sugaring process, as it was done in early 19th-century rural New England. Costumed historians will also be cooking historically accurate period foods. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. (Adult $$; Ages 3-17 <$; 2 and under FREE)

Sunday, March 5, 10am
JEWISH CULTURE
Purim is a joyous Jewish holiday which takes place in late winter/early spring. The story of Purim comes from the Bible, and is set in ancient Persia. Haman, an evil and egotistical minister of the King, concocts a plan to destroy all of the Jews in the empire because they refuse to bow down to him. Little does Haman know that the new queen, Esther, is herself a Jew. Esther bravely reveals her true identity to the king. The Jews are spared and Haman is destroyed instead. Purim customs include the telling of Biblical stories, dressing in costumes, and eating hamantashen. (See the video below to learn how to make your very own hamantaschen at home.). Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art will be hosting a Purim celebration for three to five-year-olds and their caregivers. Activities will include music, stories, crafts, and delicious treats. Space is limited & pre-registration is required at eventbrite. 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. (<$)

Sunday, March 5, 12:30pm
AGRICULTURE/FILM STUDIES
Do you know where your food comes from? Agriculture is a business which affects all of us, whether we realize it or not, and it is a business currently undergoing drastic changes in conjunction with political and cultural shifts. “Fresh Fest 2017” is a film series at Images Cinema, featuring documentaries about agriculture. On March 5, you can view the 2016 film, Seed: The Untold Story, a depiction of the seed keepers who are protecting a 12,000 year-old food legacy. Over the course of the last century, nearly 100 varieties of seeds have disappeared as a result of large agricultural companies who control the majority of the global seed market. View the film to find out more about this agricultural issue, including what can be done. 50 Spring Street. 413-458-5612. Williamstown, MA. (<$)

Sunday, March 5, 2pm
NATURE STUDIES/PHOTOGRAPHY
The Quabbin Visitor Center is a water supply source and the largest inland body of water in Massachusetts. This gorgeous spot for walking or biking is also a resource for learning about nature and local history. In his presentation “Visions from the Past,” Dale Monette will be displaying rarely seen photographs of the Quabbin, taking in the 1920s and 1930s as the reservoir was constructed by the Water Supply Commission. For more information about this program call 413-323-7221. 485 Ware Road. Belchertown, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, March 5, 3pm
POETRY
Jubilat is a literary magazine which has been publishing poetry and artwork since the Spring of 2000. In 2001, Jubilat began conducting annual readings in partnership with the Jones Library Come be a part of a local tradition supporting writers, and hear readings from poets Alan Felsenthal and Rachel B. Glaser. Felsenthal runs a small press called The Song Cave and is author of the poetry collection Lowly, published by Ugly Duckling Presse. Glaser is a novelist as well as a poet, and her work has appeared in the anthologies 30 Under 30 and New American Stories. This reading is open to the public. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, March 5, 3pm
MUSIC STUDIES
In addition to the historical learning offered by Ventfort Hall as a historic house museum, the mansion is also a fitting concert venue with wonderful acoustics. The 35-member Berkshire Concert Choir will be bringing their joy of singing to the mansion, playing a range of songs. The concert will be followed by cake and coffee. Reservations are recommended. 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street. Lenox, MA. ($$)

Sunday, March 5, 4pm
MINDFULNESS/NUTRITION
Mindfulness practices encourage people to turn mindful attention to daily activities which otherwise become routine and mindless. Virtually any part of your day can become an opportunity to practice mindfulness. Michele Miller is a Mindful Eating trainer, encouraging people to use mealtimes to cultivate mindfulness. She will be giving a free introductory session on this topic. Participants must have a smartphone or tablet. This session will teach you about Miller’s mindfulness program. If you choose to continue you will be asked to download an app to help you with daily mindfulness exercises. Please register at the M.N. Spear Memorial Library or call 413-259-1213. 10 Cooleyville Road. Shutesbury, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, March 5, 4pm-5:30pm
PARENTING/NUTRITION
Why are so many kids “picky eaters?” Young children not only have taste receptors on their tongues, but also on the insides of their cheeks and the roofs of their mouths. As you can imagine, this means that kids taste things with great intensity, which can help explain why some are very sensitive to strong flavors – or seem to be able to taste things you can’t. Children also exert their independence by refusing to eat certain foods. People of all ages also acquire tastes for difficult foods through continued exposure to the experience of eating them. There are many reasons behind picky eating, and understanding these reasons can help parents encourage their kids to expand their dietary pallets. Jonathan Schwab, M.D., will be leading this parenting workshop to help parents of picky eaters, at Northampton Area Pediatrics. Register by calling 413-517-2226 . 193 Locust Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, March 5, 5:30pm-6:30pm
LGBT/WOMEN’S HISTORY
Gay men and women are often overlooked by history textbooks. Georgetown University women’s studies professor Bonnie J. Morris will be helping to remedy this in her talk at Smith College: “Archiving a Movement: Preserving Artifacts of Lesbian History.” Find out what you don’t know about lesbian history. Morris is an award-winning author and three-time Lambda Literary Award finalist. In addition to the presentation there will be refreshments, discussion, and opportunities for networking. There is wheelchair accessibility through Neilson Library. Sophia Smith Collection. Alumnae Gym. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

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Monday, March 6, 2017

Storyhour & Playgroups: East Longmeadow, Pelham & Whately

Monday, March 6, 5:30pm-7:30pm
PARENTING
Expanding your network of parents can help you to build upon your knowledge of parenting solutions by discussing common issues. Parents of children ages birth through five are invited to “Making a Connection,” the first in a series of Positive Solutions parenting workshops in which participants will discuss the power of positive encouragement for children and share tips. A light dinner will be served. Registration is required via the Collaborative for Educational Services website. For more information call 413-586-4900 x 5568. This session will take place at the Belchertown Family Center. 720 Franklin Street. Belchertown, MA. (FREE)

Monday, March 6, 7pm
POETRY
The term “poetry” comes from the Greek term, “poiesis,” which translates to “making.” How do you make poetry? Typically by applying your choice of poetic techniques such as rhythm, rhyme, line breaks, repetition, puns, alliteration, or others, to your writing. Whether you make poetry yourself, or simply enjoy reading it, you can enrich your study of poetry by meeting other community members who enjoy this literary art form. The Forbes Library is hosting an ongoing poetry discussion group, through May 15. On March 7, participants will be reading and discussing poems about climate change. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

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Tuesday, March 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, March 7, 5:15pm
RELIGIOUS STUDIES/BUDDHIST STUDIES
Studying the beliefs and practices of various religions can help you gain a better philosophical, anthropological, and historical understanding of cultures across the globe. All are welcome to attend a lecture on Buddhist studies at Smith College, presented by Ven Dr Yifa. Yifa is a lawyer and scholar of philosophy and religious studies as well as an advocate for women’s health and women’s rights. Hear this scholar’s unique take on Buddhist studies and expand your own knowledge by attending this lecture. Seelye 106. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, March 7, 5:30pm
HISTORY/ASIAN STUDIES
The Five College Center for East Asian Studies connects students as well as community members with educational opportunities for learning about East Asian cultures. All are invited to learn about Japanese history at this lecture, “Remembering and Recording Childhood, Education, and Youth in Imperial Japan, 1925-1945,” delivered by L. Halliday Piel of Lasell College, at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The constantly evolving concept of “childhood” can be a useful lens through which to study both history and cultural anthropology. Halliday has written, for example, about the prevalence of outdoor play for children in wartime Japan. Herter Hall 301. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, March 7, 5:30pm
ART HISTORY/CHINESE ART
Works of art have always been used to process and express human emotion. Art Jeehee Hong’s presentation, “Framing Affect and Vision in Middle-Period China,” explores the artistic mediums and materials that were used to express emotion during the ninth through fourteenth centuries in China. Images of grieving individuals in funereal contexts are just one example of the types of artwork Hong will be discussing in this lecture at the Clark Art Institute. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, March 7, 6:30pm
GENEALOGY
Studying genealogy can inspire you to learn about history in general while studying your own family’s past. Genealogy research involves skills such as planning, recording, searching, and more and can be a fun way to develop these abilities. Dave Robinson of Old Bones Genealogy will be running a three-session course at the Storrs Library to teach participants the basics they need to get started. He will teach participants how to make pedigree charts, family group sheets, research DNA and more with dozens of tools and websites. This program will take places on Tuesdays March 7, 14, and 21. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, March 7, 7:30pm
POETRY
Did you know that poetry may actually predate the written word? Today, in a world full of written prose, this can be hard to imagine. In a time of strictly oral communication, however, poetic forms had not only aesthetic but highly practical purposes. Due to the often rhythmic and rhyming nature of poems, poetry can be easier to remember than prose, and poetry can be used as a mnemonic device. Metered (rhythmic) and rhyming phrases were once recited, or sung, in order to remember and convey oral history, genealogy, and even law! Learn more by reading out post, Poetry Contest Encourages Local Poets of All Ages. Then, expand your knowledge of this global art form by attending a poetry reading at Smith College by poets Jamaal May and Tarfia Faizullah. Jamaal May is winner of the Alice James Award. Tarfia Faizullah is a Bangladeshi-American poet who grew up in Midland, Texas. Her first book, Seam (2014), won the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award. Neilson Browsing Room. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

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Wednesday, March 8, 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, March 8, 5:30pm
OPEN HOUSE/CAMP
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. Smith College Seeley Hall Rm. 101. Northampton, MA (FREE)

Wednesday, March 8, 6pm-7pm
LITERACY/COLLABORATIVE CONSUMPTION
Writers are often inspired by nature. Books can take you to beautiful lands you couldn’t otherwise visit, while also educating you on nature studies topics such as plant identification or ornithology. Bring a nature- or land-themed book that you love to Kestrel Land Trust‘s Love the Land Book Share and Swap. Introduce the book to others, then listen as others share their favorites. Refreshments provided. Meet other nature lovers who appreciate a good book! If you wish to swap books, bring a used book to pass on to someone else. Registration is required and space is limited. 413-549-1097. Forbes Library. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, March 8, 6pm-8pm
PARENTING/PUBLIC HEALTH
Every parent wants their child to be healthy and make smart decisions. How can parents best model and encourage these behaviors? The Easthampton Healthy Youth Coalition is sponsoring a workshop for caregivers as well as youth ages ten to fourteen-years-old where both parents and kids can learn about healthy decision making and bond as families. Caregivers will build their knowledge and skills and all participants will have a fun time at this 7-week interactive program lead by certified facilitators. For more information and to register, visit the Easthampton Healthy Youth Coalition website. Sessions will take place on Wednesdays at White Brook Middle School. 200 Park Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, March 8, 6:30pm-8:30pm
WRITING/DIY
You don’t need a publisher to get your stories, poems, or drawings out to be the public. If you want to share your work with the community, you can always make a zine. Zines are small magazines, made inexpensively and often distributed for free. Since zines don’t usually travel far in their distribution, zine collections can give you an idea about the culture of your community and connect you with local writers. Zine making is also a great way to collaborate with other artists. Come to the Forbes Library Zine Club to talk about and create zines. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, March 8, 7pm
INTERNATIONAL THEATER
Eugene Onegin is a Russian opera, based on a verse novel written by Alexander Pushkin. This film can teach American theatre lovers about Russian plays and poetry at the same time. Boris Wolfson, Associate Professor and Chair of Russian at Amherst College will be providing an informative introduction to a screening of a filmed production of this play, at Amherst Cinema, adding even more educational value to the experience of seeing this play. The filmed production is performed by Vakhtangov Theatre. 413- 253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (<$)

Wednesday, March 8, 8pm
EARTH SCIENCE/CLIMATOLOGY
Climate change is perhaps the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced. Educating yourself on the problem of climate change can help you to become part of the solution as an individual, and to brainstorm national, institutional, and global solutions. James Hansen, director of the Program on Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions at Columbia University, will be speaking at Williams College about humanity’s impact on the planet, and solutions for protecting the environment. Understanding climate change can also help you to learn about other scientific concepts such as ecology, geology and Earth science. 880 Main Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

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Thursday, March 9, 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, March 9, 12:15pm-1pm
HISTORY/WOMEN’S HISTORY
In addition to her role as First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt was a human rights political activist and worked as a delegate to the United Nations. Roosevelt transformed the role of First Lady in the United States, taking an active political role during her husband’s four terms in office. The lunchtime lecture, “The Life and Times of Eleanor Roosevelt,” will discuss Eleanor’s personal and political life, her relationship with her husband Franklin D. Roosevelt, and her legacy. Springfield Museums 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. (<$)

Thursday, March 9, 5pm
JEWISH STUDIES
Religious studies is one lens through which you can learn about anthropology and history. Religious values vary all over the world and have a strong impact on any given culture’s moral values, philosophical outlook, and even political polities. Professor of Old Testament Criticism and Interpretation at Yale Divinity School, John J. Collins, will be discussing the relationship between ethnicity and religion in his talk, “The Invention of Judaism.” Smith College. Seelye 201. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, March 9, 5pm-6pm
GEOLOGY/NATURAL HISTORY
Did you know that the Berkshire and Taconic mountain ranges were once as high as Mount Everest? You can learn all about how tectonic forces shaped local geology over the course of millions of years, in this presentation at Bard College at Simon’s Rock. Mike Bergman, a member of the physics department faculty, will discuss glaciers and elaborate on the ways in which geology impacts the local flora and fauna, as well as how it impacts human activity. 413-644-4400. Fisher Science Center, Clark Auditorium. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, March 9, 5:30pm
LIVING HISTORY/FAIR
Living history fairs give young people the chance to learn about an interesting historical figure by portraying them. These events are also intergenerational opportunities for student-run learning. Students from the Full Circle School invite you to their History Fair. Students will be portraying artists and inventors from ancient, medieval, Renaissance, Romantic and modern periods including Titian, Rembrandt, Monet, and Edmonia Lewis among many others. This event is open to the public. 21 Parmenter Road. Bernardston, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, March 9, 6pm-7:30pm
PARENTING
Want to feel supported and understood as a parent? Join a parenting discussion! Parents of children ages birth through eight are invited to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee to take a break and discuss the joys and challenges of parenting. This group will have three sessions on March 9, 16, and 23. Registration is required via the Collaborative for Educational Services website. For more information call 413-586-4900 x 5568. This session will take place at the Granby Library. 297 East State Street. Granby, MA. (FREE)

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Friday, March 10, 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, March 10, 10am-11am
PARENTING/CULTURAL STUDIES
Early childhood is the best time to introduce languages to your child. As part of their Puzzle of Parenting series, the Collaborative for Educational Services is providing a bilingual story, music, and games session for families. Participants will engage their children with both English and Spanish, and learn about Spanish and Latin American culture. This could be a great way to connect your child to their own heritage, or to introduce other cultures for a more global understanding. This program is intended for children ages birth to five years, and their caregivers. Registration is required through the Collaborative for Educational Services website. For more information, call the Collaborative at 413-586-4900. This program will take place at the Easthampton Family Center. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

Friday, March 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. On March 10, the theme will be coyotes! What species of coyote live in our area? How do they interact with other animals in their habitat? Find out at this interactive zoology program. Siblings and friends welcome. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Friday, March 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, March 10, 5pm-8pm
ART STUDIES
Jodi Colella’s exhibition Unidentified Woman explores several aspects of 18th century women’s history, through artwork. In this exhibition Colella uses sculptures to educate people on the role of head-wear in 18th century culture. Headwear was a sign of status and an important element of fashion. Colella’s exhibition also utilizes daguerreotype photographs of anonymous women. You can learn more by attending this exhibition opening talk, which will occur during Northampton’s Arts Night Out. Historic Northampton. 413-584-6011. 46 Bridge Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Friday, March 10, 6pm
COMMUNITY MEAL/ITALIAN CULTURE
Food is intricately interwoven with culture and habitat. Whether you want to connect with your own Italian heritage, or simply enjoy a delicious Italian meal, you can attend a Lenten fish dinner at the Italian Cultural Center of Western Massachusetts. Olivia Panetti will be providing musical entertainment as well. Registration and payment is required prior to the dinner. The deadline for reservations is March 3. Call 413-827-9350 to make your reservations. 413-784-1492. 56 Margaret Street. Springfield, MA. ($)

Friday, March 10, 7pm-9pm
NATURE STUDIES/PUBLIC HEALTH
Whether we contemplate it often or not, we humans are animals. We are mammals living in an ecological relationship with our natural habitat. Environmental toxins are one clear example of the environment impacting humans and vicer versa. Living Downstream is an autobiographical documentary about scientist, Dr. Sandra Steingraber, and her research into the relationship between environmental toxins and cancer. This powerful narrative tells the story of Steingraber’s own battle with cancer. This documentary screening of the film at Bartholomew’s Cobble is part of women’s history month. For more information call 413-298-3239 ex 3013. 117 Cooper Hill Road. Sheffield, MA. (<$)

Friday, March 10, 7pm-9pm
MUSIC STUDIES
Peter Blood and Annie Patterson are two local musicians who promote hope and change through their performances. Annie and Peter worked together on two songbooks, Rise Up Singing, and Rise Again. Through these songbooks they aimed to bring the joy of learning and playing music to others, making it easier for musicians to learn over six hundred songs! Peter and Annie will be playing songs from their songbooks at Great Falls Discovery Center. The Great Falls Coffeehouse hosts performances of local musicians each month. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (DONATION)

Friday, March 10, 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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