Suggested Events for March 11th – March 17th, 2017

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Hilltown Families has given me numerous ideas, destinations, and events to participate in with my infant twins. It has been an invaluable resource that motivates us to get out and explore together!” – Stephanie Allen (Greenfield, MA)

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

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Summer Camp

FIND YOUR SUMMER CAMPSo many Summer Camps to choose from! Now is the time to start signing up for summer camp! Check out our featured post, 2017 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a comprehensive list of summer camps & programs in the region. More are added each day! Summer opportunities featured range from music, art, farming, theater, dance, science, nature, sports, speaking, yoga, rock ‘n roll… to traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens!

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

Mar 10

Montessori Comes to Forbes Library: On Friday, March 10, at 11am, bring your child to a visit with Montessori School of Northampton educator Laura Frogameni. The hour will include time to explore Montessori materials, circle time and a story. The Forbes Library is located at 20 West Street in Northampton. Free; all families of children 0-6 are invited to attend. For more information, call Laura at 413-586-4538 x103 or visit www.northamptonmontessori.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 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 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.

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 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.

Mar 12

“Love Always Wins,” A Community Purim Celebration in Northampton. On Sunday, March 12 from 10:30am-1pm, Congregation B’nai Israel, in collaboration with PJ Library Western Massachusetts. Beit Ahavah ~ The Reform Synagogue of Greater Northampton and Lander-Grinspoon Academy, welcomes the public to a joyous Purim celebration including music, mask making, preparing food for the Cot Shelter, a fantastic puppet show featuring Felicia Sloin and Tom Knight and an original Purim play put on by LGA 6th graders. The program will conclude with a delicious, vegetarian meal. $5 kids under 10 and $10 adults. To RSVP and for more details click here or contact rabbijacob@cbinorthampton.org, 413-584-3593 x203.

Mar 17

The Celtic Heels Irish Dance Company takes an innovative twist on traditional Irish Dance with a toe tapping, hand clapping vibrant modern flair. This family friendly celebration of Celtic dance, music and culture is a wonderful way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day for all ages. Friday, March 17 at 6pm at the Academy of Music in Northampton. $14/adult, $12/child and senior, $5 for children under 5. Ticket information can be found at CelticHeelsDance.com. The Celtic Heels School of Dance offers lessons and summer workshops in Greenfield and Florence for ages 4-adult. Join in the fun of the jigs and reels with Celtic Heels! For show or class information please contact Celtic Heels at celticheels@gmail.com. 413-475-3353.

Mar 18

Piti Theatre’s 8th annual SYRUP: One Sweet Performing Arts Festival celebrates spring, sap and the arts at Memorial Hall in Shelburne Falls on Saturday, 3/18. Two time Grammy winner Bill Harley headlines the Festival at 4 pm, performing his own set and narrating two stories performed by Piti’s Shelburne Falls Youth Troupe. Sammy and the Grand Buffet, a world premiere solo physical comedy performance by Piti Theatre’s Jonathan Mirin taps things off at 2 pm. Plus syrup tasting, complimentary Real Pickles, clowning workshop for children on 3/19 (free), teen/adult clowning workshop and more! Tix: $15/$12 students and seniors, $5 children under 12 at Boswell’s Books, World Eye Bookshop or www.ptco.org/syrup. 1-800-838-3006. info@ptco.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 11th – March 17th, 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 11, 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. This week, Mama Doni celebrates the Jewish holiday of Purim! Celebrating the universal theme of Purim: standing up to adversity, having a voice, self empowerment, Mama Doni shares classic songs of strength. This unique Radio Show will give listeners a flavor of Purim — from the fun and crazy to the true meaning and message of this cool Jewish holiday. Produced by Doni Zasloff and Eric Lindberg. An 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 11, 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 through March 19. Lyman Conservatory. 16 College Lane. Northampton, MA. (<$)

Saturday, March 11, 9am-12pm
COMMUNITY MEAL/PLACEMAKING
 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. At Chester Hill’s 32nd Annual Maple Fest and Craft Fair, you and your family can witness old time sugaring and enjoy a pancake breakfast with local maple syrup, at the First Congregational Church. Chester, MA. (<$)

Saturday, March 11, 9:30am-4pm
LIVING HISTORY/NEW ENGLAND HISTORY
Participating in the maple sugaring process is a delicious way to learn about New England history. 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 11, 10am-12pm
OPEN HOUSE

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.

Saturday, March 11, 10am
FIBER ARTS/QUILTING
Fiber arts are an expansive and historic art form, intersecting with agriculture and fashion. Quilting, which involves sewing two or more pieces of fabric together with another layer of insulation, is so old that its origins are unknown. You can learn basic quilting techniques and contribute to a small quilting project by attending this quilting Learner’s Lab at the Berkshire MuseumSeating is limited, reservations are requested. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Route 7. Pittsfield, MA. ($; children under 18 <$; members, ages three and under FREE)

Saturday, March 11, 10am
ART STUDIES/BOTANY
Art gives preschoolers the chance to express their feelings and practice their fine motor skills. The Clark Art Institute’s “Start with Art” program offers themed talks, gallery guides, and art-making activities for three-to-six-year-old and their parents. March’s program will center around the theme of flowers and plants. Art project-appropriate clothing is recommended. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 11, 10am-11am
DENDROLOGY/OUTDOOR ADVENTURES
Dendrology, the study of trees, is a broad scientific topic. It encompasses plant taxonomy and includes the study of diseases which specifically affect tree species. Spending time outdoors with your child can spark a lifelong interest in scientific subjects such as dendrology, botany, or ecology. Children and their parents are invited to take a closer look at native trees at the Hitchcock Center’s nature program, “Meet the trees!” This event is part of an ongoing nature studies program continuing on the second Saturday of the month through June. 413-256-6006. 845 West Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 11, 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 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 11, 10am-12pm
INTERGENERATIONAL/DANCE
Dancing can be a fun activity for the entire family. Even very young children like to dance. Bring your entire family to 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 and dancing with special guest DJ, food, crafts, and more! Jackson Street Elementary School. 120 Jackson Street. Northampton, MA. (<$)

Saturday, March 11, 10:30am-11:30am
MUSIC STUDIES/ACAPELLA
Musicals can be interactive and educational, simply because you can sing along! Kids of all ages are invited to a sing-along viewing of The Wizard of Oz (Rated G) at the Jones Library. Students from the UMass Music Education Program will get participants ready with a warm-up and practice session. Participants are encouraged to come in Oz themed costumes. A prize will be awarded for best costume! 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 11, 11am
FINANCIAL LITERACY
Most states in the U.S. do not require financial literacy courses and these topics do not appear on standardized tests. For now, the task is left to parents and the community, but some parents do not feel comfortable talking to their kids about money. These conversations can be difficult as they may alert your child to harsh realities and difficult choices of adulthood. You teens and tweens can learn basic financial literacy skills at the Granby Library’s personal finance workshop. The workshop leader will provide youth with important tips on how to make money, how to spend it, save it and protect it! The early teen years are a great time to begin building these important, lifelong skills. 413-467-3320. 297 East State Street. Granby, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 11, 11am-2pm
NEW ENGLAND HISTORY
Maple syrup and maple sugar were first produced by Native Americans. Europeans later adopted this practice with their own methods of extraction. At Williams College’s Maplefest, participants can visit a functioning sugar house, observe demonstrations of bottling, try tapping a tree, and taste the final product! There will also be demonstrations of pre-colonial era evaporation methods. This annual event is festive, educational, and delicious! All ages are welcome. Hopkins Forest. Bulkley Street and Northwest Hill Road. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 11, 11am-4pm
WOMEN’S HISTORY/AVIATION
In celebration of Women’s History Month, New England Air Museum will be educating participants about women’s contributions to aerospace history. There will be hands-on activities to encourage the next generation of pilots and engineers. Guest speakers will include Lt. Col. Kristen Snow, C-130 pilot and Commander of the 103 rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Bradley’s Connecticut Air National Guard base; Duchess Harris, Professor of American Studies at Macalester College and author of the book Hidden Human Computers: The Black Women of NASA; and Lee Boulanger, who climbed the ranks from aircraft mechanic to General Manager at the Bombardier Hartford Service Center at Bradley International Airport. Lectures and activities are included with museum admission. 860-623-330. 36 Perimeter Road. Windsor Locks, CT. ($; Agess 4-11 <$)

Saturday, March 11, 12pm
FIBER ARTS/COLLABORATIVE CONSUMPTION
Do you have bits and pieces of textiles left over from holiday craft projects that you’ll likely not use anytime soon, or tattered and torn clothes your kids have outgrown and you don’t want to see them thrown out? Or are you a crafter in search of inspiration (or perhaps some new yarn or fabric) for your next project? Bring your unwanted fabric, yarn, needles, notions, patterns, art materials etc. to the Lenox Community Center. Sharing supplies is a totally green way to start a new project- you’ll be preventing waste and will preserve resources by not buying something new! Meet other fiber artists while swapping materials as well as ideas and skills. 65 Walker Street. Lenox, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 11, 12pm-1:30pm
POLITICAL ACTIVISM
On March 10th, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and Native Nations will be marching on Washington to make demands including the protection of their water from the Dakota Access Pipeline. The March organizers have stated the following: “We ask that you rise in solidarity with the Indigenous peoples of the world whose rights protect Unci Maka (Grandmother Earth) for the future generations of all.” If you would like to do your part to “rise in solidarity,” you can attend a gathering in Greenfield for prayer, song, and peaceful action in support of Standing Rock and the Native Nations. Town Common. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 11, 2pm-4pm
CULINARY ARTS
Chocolate takes a long journey before you buy it wrapped up at a store. Cocoa beans come from tropical areas of the Americas where they are cut from trees with a machete. The beans are removed from their pods and fermented for several days. Further processing, cooking, and added ingredients turn these beans into chocolate as we know it. The Jones Library will host chef Dede Wilson for a decadent afternoon of learning about, and tasting, chocolate! Dede will teach participants how to assess varieties of chocolate. This event is recommended for ages 14 and up. Registration is required. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 11, 5pm-8pm
ART STUDIES/PLACEMAKING
For creative makers of any kind, visiting an art gallery can be an educational and inspiring experience. Easthampton Art Walk connects local artists to each other and to supporters of the arts. During art walk, several galleries open their doors for free, and other venues such as stores display art and welcome visitors. Art walk takes place monthly. This month, you can see figure drawings, paintings, photographic works, and more, all across downtown. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 11, 5:30pm
PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT/MUSIC STUDIES
 Seeing live music doesn’t have to be expensive. Local music performances are often small, low-key, and can introduce you to local musicians. Often, there are opportunities to support these musicians directly through donation or purchasing of merchandise. One Part Luck is a local musical duo comprised of husband and wife John Bye and Peg Cowen, from Cummington, MA. They perform original songs with two-part harmony, backed up with acoustic guitar, bass, banjo, harmonica, and various percussive devices. Hear them perform at cozy Bread Euphoria and buy some delicious food! This event is part of Bread Euphoria’s ongoing Saturday Night Rise music series. 206 Main Street. Haydenville, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 11, 5:30pm-6:30pm
ART STUDIES/ANIMATION
Cartoon television shows are entertaining; they are also works of visual art! Animated cartoons are made from sequential drawings. Early examples include flip books. Animated television shows began in the 1950s and took off in the 1960s with youth-targeted shows such as The Flintstones. Today, there are cartoons for audiences of all ages. Fred Seibert served as president of Hanna-Barbera, a successful American animation studio, from 1992 to 1996. He was involved with shows such as Dexter’s Laboratory, Cow and Chicken, Johnny Bravo, Courage the Cowardly Dog, and The Powerpuff Girls.. Catch him speaking at the Norman Rockwell Museum as part of their Masters of Animation series. This talk is included with regular museum admission. 413-298-4100. 9 Glendale Road. Stockbridge, MA. ($. College students with ID <$. Ages 6-18 <$. Under 5 and museum members FREE)

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Sunday, March 12, 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. This week, Mama Doni celebrates the Jewish holiday of Purim! Celebrating the universal theme of Purim: standing up to adversity, having a voice, self empowerment, Mama Doni shares classic songs of strength. This unique Radio Show will give listeners a flavor of Purim — from the fun and crazy to the true meaning and message of this cool Jewish holiday. Produced by Doni Zasloff and Eric Lindberg. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org. Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcast anytime – click here to see over 9 years of archived shows.

Sunday, March 12, 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 12, 10am-3pm
NEW ENGLAND HISTORY
Maple syrup was originally created by Native Americans before being adopted by European settlers. It was a practice in the Northeast, where you can find sugar maple, red maple, and black maple trees. Learning about the traditional process of maple sugaring can connect you with the history of both indigenous peoples and European settlers. Maple Harvest Day at the Gilbert Farmstead in Storrowton Village Museum, will showcase this history with tree sapping and sap boiling demonstrations, as well as 19th century open hearth cooking. Get a crash course in the history of New England! 413-205-5051. 1305 Memorial Avenue. West Springfield, MA. ($)

Sunday, March 12, 10:30am-1pm
PURIM
“Love Always Wins,” A Community Purim Celebration. Congregation B’nai Israel, in collaboration with PJ Library Western Massachusetts. Beit Ahavah ~ The Reform Synagogue of Greater Northampton and Lander-Grinspoon Academy, welcomes the public to a joyous Purim celebration including music, mask making, preparing food for the Cot Shelter, a fantastic puppet show featuring Felicia Sloin and Tom Knight and an original Purim play put on by LGA 6th graders. The program will conclude with a delicious, vegetarian meal. To RSVP and for more details click here or contact rabbijacob@cbinorthampton.org, 413-584-3593 x203. Northampton, MA (>$)

Sunday, March 12, 11am
FIBER ARTS/QUILTING
Fiber arts are an expansive and historic art form, intersecting with agriculture and fashion. Quilting, which involves sewing two or more pieces of fabric together with another layer of insulation, is so old that its origins are unknown. You can learn basic quilting techniques and contribute to a small quilting project by attending this quilting Learner’s Lab at the Berkshire MuseumSeating is limited, reservations are requested. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Route 7. Pittsfield, MA. ($; children under 18 <$; members, ages three and under FREE)

Sunday, March 12, 12pm
ART STUDIES/CRAFTS
Pablo Picasso believed that: “All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist.” You can encourage your child’s natural artistic inclination by bringing them to Monson Arts Council’s Spring Craft Day! Youth ages seven through fourteen are welcomed to participate in a four hour workshop led by local artists. Projects are intended to celebrate Spring and support creativity. Groups will rotate through projects including T-shirt design, sewing, cookie decorating, and a fairy house, among others. Registration is required. Visit the Monson Arts Council Facebook page. Questions? Contact Andrea Newland at newland.andrea@gmail.com . 413-267-3042. 200 Main Street. Monson, MA. ($$)

Sunday, March 12, 2pm-3pm
LOCAL HISTORY/NATURE STUDIES
What are “heritage apples?” These are the apples of past generations. These old apple varieties are diverse, and represent a part of our local agricultural heritage, but are at risk of disappearing. The Lost Apples of the Quabbin Project, a team of two seeking to locate and preserve heritage apples, has researched and explored this topic for the past year. You can learn about their work, the techniques they used, and discover the history of the Quabbin at this presentation. The talk will take place at the Quabbin Visitor Center. 413-323-7221. 485 Ware Road. Belchertown, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, March 12, 3pm-5pm
FOLK MUSIC/IRISH CULTURE
In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, “Music and Tea with Todd McLeod at Ventfort Hall will honor Irish heritage through music and tea! Singer-songwriter McLeod will play traditional folk songs of Ireland and Scotland, as well as his original compositions which are inspired by his roots living in coastal Maine. Audience members will enjoy a special Irish tea. 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street. Lenox, MA. ($$)

Sunday, March 12, 5:30pm-7pm
MUSIC STUDIES/COMMUNITY MEAL
 Your voice is the free instrument you carry with you everywhere. Do you or your children like to sing? You can learn new songs and practice your singing at Earthdance’s community sing! Singing will be followed by a potluck supper from 7pm-8pm, and a music/dance jam afterwards. Share your favorite dish and meet other musically-inclined families in your community. 413-634-5678. 252 Prospect Street. Plainfield, MA. (DONATION)

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Monday, March 13, 2017

Storyhour & Playgroups: East Longmeadow, Pelham & Whately

Monday, March 13, 2pm
BIKE REPAIR
Learning to tune up and repair your own bike can save you time and money while teaching you about engineering and problem solving. Bring your bike or just your questions to Make It Springfield, and have your repairs taken care of by RadSpringfield. Stop in anytime during these drop in hours. All ages are welcome. There is a suggested donation up to twenty five dollars or more, depending on the repair. You can also bring by your old, unused bikes to donate. 168 Worthington Street. Springfield, MA. (DONATION)

Monday, March 13, 2:30pm-3:30pm
HEALTH AND BEAUTY/COSMETOLOGY
Taking a spa day is a great way to relax, but it’s expensive, and often you may not know what is in the spa products being used. The stressed teens and tweens in your life can learn how to make their own scrubs, sprays, and soaks, using all natural ingredients, at the Southwick Public Library’s DIY Spa Day. Anyone in grades 7-12 is welcome. All materials will be provided. The spa products created also make great gifts for friends. For further information, contact the reference desk at 413-569-1221 ex 3. 95 Feeding Hills Road. Southwick, MA. (FREE)

Monday March 13, 5pm to 8pm
LOCAL HISTORY
How have prisons and our criminal justice system evolved over hundreds of years? The United States has the highest prison population in the world. Whether we realize it or not, incarceration has a huge impact on our society. For those on the outside of prison walls, this can be an invisible problem, as we literally do not see the millions of people in this country who are incarcerated. You can learn about local history through the lens of criminal justice, and become more informed about current issues related to imprisonment, at the opening reception of “States of Incarceration: A National Dialogue of Local Histories” at Historic Northampton. At this reception you can see a performance by “Voices from Inside,” a group of Western Massachusetts women who were formerly incarcerated. Hear their stories for a personal perspective on this national issue. 413-584-6011. 46 Bridge Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Monday, March 13, 5:30pm-7:30pm
PARENTING
How can you utilize play in your parenting practice, in order to teach social and emotional skills? This “Positive Solutions” workshop will explore ways parents can help their children develop friendship skills. A light dinner will be provided starting at 5:30pm; the workshop begins at 6:30pm. 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 13, 7pm
POETRY/FILM STUDIES
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 13, participants will be screening Il Postino, (rated PG) a fictional 1994 film about the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. This film is in Italian with English subtitles. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

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Tuesday, March 14, 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 14, 5:30pm-8pm
ART STUDIES/PLACEMAKING
Public art projects can support placemaking by building bridges between artists and engaging the community with art. Artists who are curious about this topic are invited to a free, evening-long “Introduction to the Public Art Process” workshop. Participating in a public art project can help artists to build their portfolios and be seen by a diverse audience. Artists of all mediums are invited. This workshop will outline the steps required to create a competitive public art project application at the local and national level. Registration is required. Light snacks and beverages will be served. Make It Springfield. 168 Worthington Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, March 14, 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 14, 6pm-7pm
FRENCH
Learning a second language is a fun and exciting challenge for the brain. Since learning a second language is easiest during early childhood, language learning can be the perfect intergenerational pursuit for parents who want to expand their knowledge. Fluency in more than one language opens up career opportunities, as well as the ability to converse easily with a greater number of people, both at home and when traveling. Fluent French speakers as well as learners are invited to a casual French conversation session, the second Tuesday of every month at the Cushman Library. 413-648-5402. 28 Church Street. Bernardston, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, March 14, 6:30pm-7:30pm
LIFELONG LEARNING/TECHNOLOGY
Did you know that you can create a “To Read” list using your online library account? Did you know that you can enable your account to keep track of your history so you’ll never forget the titles of books you’ve checked out in the past? Libraries are a vital resource for people of all ages who wish to read, listen, view, and learn! The Sunderland Public Library is offering a workshop teaching participants how to make the most of their online CW/MARS library accounts. The workshop leader will walk you through the search process, show you how to change your account preferences, put items on hold, and more. 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

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Wednesday, March 15, 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 15, 10:30am-11:30am
LITERACY
Reading and comprehension of language are essential skills for functioning; these skills also open up a world of enjoyment through reading for pleasure. Parents can do a lot to encourage literacy in their children. Talking, singing, playing and reading with your child all build early reading skills. This program from the Collaborative for Educational Services will teach parents of children ages birth to five years fun activities to encourage literacy. Registration is required through the Collaborative for Educational Services website. For more information, call the Collaborative at 413-586-4900. Southampton Public Library. 30 East Street. Southampton, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, March 15, 4pm-5pm
STORYTIME/CRAFT
It’s mud season! With warming temperatures and melting snow, the smell of dirt and Earth is a harbinger of Spring. For kids willing to get messy, and parents willing to do some cleaning up, mud provides opportunities for crafts and sensory experiences. Come to the Cushman Library for a mud-themed story hour featuring a muddy craft and a muddy snack. 413-648-5402. 28 Church Street. Bernardston, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, March 15, 4pm-8pm
POLITICAL ACTIVISM
Sending physical, “snail mail” messages to government can be a productive and cathartic experience. All community members are invited to drop in to the Odyssey Bookshop for an evening of post-card writing. Put your words into action in the form of this small step. Participants will write postcards to national, state, and local politicians and the White House about any political issue. Participants are welcome to stay as long as they’d like, swap stories and meet neighbors. The Odyssey Bookshop will provide tables, chairs, postcards, pens, addresses for state and national politicians, and some light refreshments, but participants should provide their own postage.413-534-7307. 9 College Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, March 15, 5:30pm
PLACEMAKING/FUNDRAISING
Residents of Springfield and the surrounding area are invited to support revitalization efforts by attending the 6th annual “Celebrate Springfield” dinner. Attendees will learn about current and future projects. All proceeds from this event will support the work of Develop Springfield. The evening will include music by the Eric Bascom Trio, hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, a panel conversation and an awards presentation to “Partners In Progress” honorees. Purchase tickets at the Develop Springfield website. 413-209-8808. Mass Mutual Center 1277 Main Street. Springfield, MA ($$$)

Wednesday, March 15, 7pm
THEATER/MUSIC HISTORY
Amadeus is a 1979 play by Peter Shaffer which tells a fictionalized account of the lives of composers Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Antonio Salieri. The play utilizes music by Mozart, Salieri, and other composers. Lovers of theater and classical music can view an HD film screening of this play performed by the National Theatre in London, at Amherst Cinema. This screening is part of Amherst Cinema’s “International Performances in HD” series. 413- 253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (<$)

Wednesday, March 15, 7pm-9pm
NUTRITION/BIOLOGY
Have you heard the term “microbiota?” What does it have to do with your digestive health? A microbiome is a community of microorganisms living within a larger organism. The human body is home to bacteria, archaea, protists, fungi and viruses which comprise microbiomes. You are home to trillions of microorganisms. It’s kind of freaky! It’s also important to our understanding of human health. Gut bacteria can not only be healthy, but entirely necessary for healthy digestion. Dietician and nutritionist Alicia Walter will teach participants all about this topic in a presentation at Shutesbury Town Hall. She will discuss how the human diet affects gut bacteria, and what sort of foods you should be eating for healthy gut bacteria. Gut-friendly snacks will be served. 1 Cooleyville Road. Shutesbury, MA. (FREE)

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Thursday, March 16, 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 16, 12:15-1pm
ART HISTORY
Although they are considered great American artists, Mary Cassatt, John Singer Sargent, and James McNeill Whistler all spent significant time living abroad as expatriates. Cassatt lived in France, Sargent in Paris and London, and Whistler in the United Kingdom. How might their experiences living in various places and experiencing more than one culture affected their artistic works? Find out at this lunchtime lecture held by the Springfield Museums. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. (<$)

Thursday, March 16, 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)

Thursday, March 16, 6:30pm
POLITICAL SCIENCE
Do you want to run for political office? Even if you are merely interested in checking your voter registration status, a Campaign Finance Rules and Regulations Workshop at the Springfield City Library can help you become a more informed voter or potential political candidate. Candidates and elected officials are required to detail their campaign fundraising. Jason Tait from the state’s Department of Office of Campaign and Political Finance will provide training for those running for office. This information could also be of interest to voters who want to understand how to research campaign finance documents. This event is open to all and likely will be of particular interest to candidates, elected officials, and campaign treasurers. Staff will be on hand to register Springfield residents and help them check their voter status. Forest Park Branch Library. 380 Belmont Avenue. Springfield MA. (FREE)

Thursday, March 16, 7pm
FILM SCREENING/ORNITHOLOGY
Did you know that songbird species populations are in decline? Species extinction is always tragic, but humans may be particularly saddened at the loss of birds whose birdsongs have influenced human music for centuries. The 2015 documentary Messenger (not rated) outlines the problem of mass depletion as well as efforts to improve birdsong populations, all the while providing a visually stunning viewing experience. Learn the potential impact this loss would have on the planet, and what you can do to help, at this screening. Hitchcock Center. Registration is appreciated. 413-256-6006. 845 West Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, March 16, 7pm
POLITICAL SCIENCE/ACTIVISM
What exactly is “democracy?” What does the word mean to you, and do you feel that our current government represents your definition of a democracy? Associate Dean of the Faculty of Political Science at Amherst College, Austin Sarat , will be leading a community discussion of these issues at the Jones Library. Come with questions and learn about the meaning of democratic governance as well as other legal issues. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, March 16, 7:30pm
MUSIC STUDIES/SOUTH AFRICAN MUSIC
Ladysmith Black Mambazo is a South African musical group which has gained worldwide attention with their vocal skills, dance choreography, and onstage banter, for the past fifty years. Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s performances speak to the cultural as well as personal histories of the performers. The group has welcome a younger generation of members, passing along their tradition of music and storytelling. You can see them perform at the Academy of Music Theatre to expand your knowledge of South African music and culture.413-584-9032. 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA. ($$)

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Friday, March 17, 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 17, 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 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 17, the theme will be ducks! What species of ducks 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 17, 6pm
DANCE STUDIES/IRISH DANCE
Irish step-dancing combines the quick foot movements of step dancing with a stiff upper body and traditional costumes. The Celtic Heels Irish Dance Company takes traditional Irish dance movements and infuses them with modern choreography. You can celebrate St. Patrick’s day by attending their family-friendly performance at the Academy of Music Theatre. This show celebrates Irish heritage and culture through dance and music. 413-584-9032. 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA. ($; children under five <$)

Friday, March 17, 6pm
IRISH CULTURE/COMMUNITY MEAL
Eating celebratory dishes is one of the most enjoyable ways to celebrate a holiday and honor a culture. This St. Patrick’s Day, gather with other families for a dinner of corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, carrots, and dessert. There will also be a vegetarian stew for folks who do not eat meat. This community meal will benefit the Friends of the Shutesbury Library, and will take place at the Shutesbury Athletic Club. 282 Wendell Road. Shutesbury, MA. (DONATION <$)

Friday, March 17, 7pm
FAMILY THEATER
 The classic 1964 musical Fiddler on the Roof tells the story of a Jewish Russian peasant village during the 20th century. This play can serve as a great supplement to studies of Jewish history and culture. Young actors from Hampshire Regional High School will be performing their rendition of the musical for an audience of all ages. Ticket reservations are available by calling 413-437-5597 or emailing hrhstickets@gmail.com. Tickets will also be available at the door. 19 Stage Road. Westhampton, MA. (Adults; 18 and under <$)

Friday, March 17, 7pm
FAMILY THEATER/INCLUSION
Whole Children is an organization offering classes for youth, ages toddler through teen, with a range of abilities. The Whole Children Theater Studio Gang and Joyful Chorus invite families to their performance Shake It Off: An Interplanetary Experience. This original story will warm hearts with themes of honoring individuality and the freedom to be yourself. Your neurodivergent children and children with disabilities will feel at home at Whole Children, while neurotypical youth will benefit from the messages of the play as well. 413-585-8010. 41 Russell Street. Hadley, MA. (<$)

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

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