Suggested Events for April 8th-14th, 2017

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“I check in weekly with Hilltown Families to plan our weekend adventures… greatest places and activities on your site!” – Liz B. (Northampton MA)

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

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 Directory

Our summer camp guide is up! Check out our featured post, 2017 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a list that will wow and dazzle you! 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! Check it out and start making your summer plans! — Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your listing HERE.

Bulletin Board

Apr 8

Immerse yourself in the world of Ancient Rome, at the Smith College Museum of Art’s Free Community Day, inspired by the exhibition Leisure and Luxury in the Age of Nero: The Villas of Oplontis near Pompeii, Saturday, April 8, from 11:30 am–3:30 pm. All ages welcome! The day’s events include: Story time with Forbes Library; fresco painting with Associate Director for Museum Services David Dempsey; a collaborative performance with Enchanted Circle Theater and the Springfield Conservatory of the Arts middle school; olive oil tasting by Ellie’s Oils; exploration of volcanic rocks with Smith College geoscientists, jewelry-making, and more! Also, visit the Great Garbanzo food truck outside the museum!

Apr 8-30

Bring the whole family to downtown Amherst and celebrate Daffodil Days! Town bursts with daffodils and fun. Sunday April 9 & 23 come to The Games on the Common where community joins college athletes to play bocce, badminton and croquet. A festival honors international students on April 8 on the common. On April 22, The Dessert Crawl benefit for non-profit Reader to Reader offers a chance to try 10 desserts for $10. The Sustainability Festival on the Common has music, demonstrations, and presentations on sustainable strategies. Amherst ChalkWalk on April 29 offers the chance to decorate the sidewalks to win special gift prizes. The annual Daffodil Run on April 30 has special awards for silly costumes and a cookout follows at Kendrick Park. www.amherstdowntown.com.

Apr 9

On April 9th, American Liberty Ballet presents “Sylvia ou la Nymphe de Diane,” an original 3 act ballet choreographed by Valerie Mae Browne. Since 1876 only 12 choreographers have ever tackled this difficult ballet: taking stage at the Academy of Music. Set to the romantic score of Léo Delibes, Sylvia is a classical ballet set in an Arcadian forest, where a shepherd boy falls in love with a huntress nymph loyal to the goddess Diana. When arrows and hearts go awry, deities intervene to save Sylvia, in this captivating mythological love story. Sylvia is played by Bolshoi trained ballerina Natasha Sheptalova. American Liberty Ballet is comprised of 15 highly skilled classically trained dancers from all over the world. For tickets: americanlibertyballet.com.

Open House: Apr 12 & 22

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: April 12 at 5:30pm & April 22 at 10:30am, at Smith College Seeley Hall Rm. 101.

Apr 14-15

Huge used music, DVD and children’s book sale at Roundabout Books in Greenfield, April 14 & 15. $1 sale: Saturday 10am-5pm. $2 pre-sale day: Friday, April 14, 12-7pm. Roundabout Books, member ABA and SNEAB, presents our huge Spring CD, DVD, and book sale. Of special interest to Hilltown Families will be Roundabout’s large collection of children’s picture and chapter books. All inventory is used, in excellent condition, with a focus on classic children’s books and series books. Roundabout is a large, open, child-friendly space. Delight in shopping for all ages, as well. $1 DVDs and DVD sets; $1 CDs and CD sets; $1 All children’s books (over 1000 to choose from); $1 All Sci-Fi and Fantasy; $1 audiobooks; 20% off all other books. www.roundaboutbookstore.com.

Apr 16

The Blue Heron Restaurant will celebrate the arrival of spring with their annual farm-to-table Easter brunch buffet on Sunday, April 16, 2017. Seatings are available every half hour from 11am to 4pm. An abundant hors d’oeuvres station, a breakfast buffet, a carving station, and vegetarian and vegan guests will find many options (additional items can be modified to be vegan upon request). Most of the menu items are naturally gluten free. The buffet is $48 per adult and $20 per child ages 4-10; children under four eat free. The full menu is available at www.blueherondining.com/special-events. Reservations are required and by calling 413-665-2102 or info@blueherondining.com. The Blue Heron is located at 112 North Main Street in Sunderland.

July 17-28

Hampshire College Summer Academic Programs is accepting applications for summer 2017. Students who will be high school juniors and seniors in fall 2017 are encouraged to apply and experience Hampshire College, located in Amherst, while still in high school. Get a sense of Hampshire’s innovative approach to learning and what life is like on Hampshire’s campus and in the classroom during the two-week precollege programs. This summer’s precollege program offerings are: Inside the Cell: Immersion into the Biology Laboratory, Meet the World of Metalworking, Young Feminist Collaborative, Citizens United. Apply by Friday, April 14, 2017 to receive a 10% tuition discount! Learn more and apply at precollege.hampshire.edu or email summer@hampshire.edu.

Hilltown Families Preschool Directory: 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.

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 Sales & Marketing Manger, Merricka Breuer at mbreuer@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 Program Manager, Courtney Supple at csupple@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
April 8th-14th, 2017

SaturdaySunday
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Suggest an Event | Cultural Itineraries | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Storyhour & Playgroups| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

Donate Now Events Happening in the Hilltowns

Saturday, April 8, 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. Celebrate spring with guest DJ Lucy Kalantari. Butterflies, botany, banana splits and rainbows, this playlist covers the many beautiful colors and facets of spring. Featuring Red Pants Band, KB Whirly, Dog on Fleas, Laura Doherty and many more!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, April 8, 7am-10am
GUIDED NATURE HIKE/ORNITHOLOGY
You can bird watch year-round, but spring and fall are the best times to learn about migrating birds. Adults are invited on an an easy two mile loop aroudn Graves Farm Wildlife Sanctuary to look for migratory birds such as blackburnian warblers, hermit thrushes, and tree swallows. Bring binoculars and a field guide if you have one. Long pants and close toed shoes suggested for better tick protection. For further learning at home, check out Mass Audubon’s resource, Flyways of the Americas, to learn about the pathway of four birds that travel each spring and fall. Registration is required. 413-584-3009. Adams Road. Haydenville, MA. (Members <$; Non members $)

COMMUNITY CELEBRATION
Bring the whole family to downtown Amherst and celebrate Daffodil Days! Town bursts with daffodils and fun. Sunday April 9 & 23 come to The Games on the Common where community joins college athletes to play bocce, badminton and croquet. A festival honors international students on April 8 on the common. On April 22, The Dessert Crawl benefit for non-profit Reader to Reader offers a chance to try 10 desserts for $10. The Sustainability Festival on the Common has music, demonstrations, and presentations on sustainable strategies. Amherst ChalkWalk on April 29 offers the chance to decorate the sidewalks to win special gift prizes. The annual Daffodil Run on April 30 has special awards for silly costumes and a cookout follows at Kendrick Park. www.amherstdowntown.com.

Saturday, April 8, 9am-6pm
MUSIC STUDIES/INTERGENERATIONAL
Berkshire Music School offers classes, workshops, and ensembles for musicians of all ages. All are invited to hear their students play at their annual performathon! All day long musicians will be showcasing their progress and work. There will also be a bake sale and music store. Bring the whole family to check out this local resource for musical learning. 413-442-1411. 30 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 8, 9am-9pm
LITERACY
Easthampton BookFest offers interest-based learning far beyond the topics of reading and writing. Artists, illustrators, makers, crafters and more will find something to like and learn at BookFest. The day long festival of events will offer learning on topics such as self publishing, zine making, book binding, typewriter repair and much more. There will also be theatrical performances including ten-minute plays and a story slam. Check the BookFest website for a full schedule of events at various locations. Easthampton, MA. (FREE – $$)

Saturday, April 8, 9:30am-1:30pm
LITERACY
There’s lots of ways parents can make reading fun and creative positive associations with reading for their children. Kid’s Book Fest will have tons of fun, literacy activities. Kids and parents are invited to engage with poetry by writing “blackout” poems and book spine poems. There will be art, science, and music activities which relate to reading. Children’s book authors Tony and Angela Diterlizzi will give a presentation and book signing so families can connect directly with authors. Help your kids become interested in reading, writing, and tons of other subjects at Kid’s Book Fest. Easthampton High School Auditorium. 70 Williston Avenue. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 8, 9:30am-4pm
HISTORY/STORYTELLING
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word history comes from the Latin word “historia,” meaning “investigation, inquiry, research, account, description, written account of past events, writing of history, historical narrative, recorded knowledge of past events, story, narrative.” Historians often take primary source documents and weave them into an engaging narrative to help us remember our past and gain knowledge from it. The next Pioneer Valley Historic Network meeting will feature storytelling performances as well as presentations about storytelling. Christina Vida will discuss storytelling from a curator’s perspective; Sarah Jane Poindexter will talk about eliciting stories from oral history projects. This is a great event for storytellers, historians, curators, writers and anyone else with an interest in these topics. Hall Tavern. 80 Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA. ($; student <$)

Saturday, April 8, 10am-12pm
EASTER
Lots of kids love to interact with animals. These interactions can help teach kids empathy and responsibility. Older children may discover a biological or environmental interest in animal studies, discovering that they can learn about habitat through local animal species. The Whately Library’s celebration of Easter and spring will offer a chance to see real bunnies! There will also be Easter themed storytimes and an egg hunt outside. 413-665-2170. 202 Chestnut Plain Road. Whately, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 8, 10am-12pm
ECOLOGY/OURDOOR ADVENTURES
Are your kids studying life cycles, ecology or habitats? Have you thought about taking them to check out a vernal pool in your area? Vernal pools are a temporary type of wetland habitat, home to a number of extraordinary animals.Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary invites children ages four through twelve, and their caregivers, to explore vernal pools up close. Participants will be able to dip their nets into the water and see who is living there! Wear sneakers or water shoes. Registration is required. 413-584-3009. 127 Combs Road. Easthampton, MA. (<$)

Saturday, April 8, 10am-12pm
EASTER/EGG DECORATING
Egg decorating is an important part of the cultures of Poland, Croatia, Ukraine, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. People across nations and cultures have found eggs to be an aesthetically pleasing decorative object, symbolizing the possibility and hope of new life. Egg decorating also differs in technique across cultures. People of all ages are invited to learn about this traditional Eastern European craft through demonstrations and instructional workshops at Ventfort Hall. All materials are included in the workshop fee. Children should be at least 12 years of age. Reservations are recommended as the workshop size is limited.413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street. Lenox, MA. ($$)

Saturday, April 8, 10am-4:30pm
EASTER/HISTORY
Connecticut Trolley Museum will hold Easter Bunny Fun Days, featuring pictures with the Easter Bunny, an Easter scavenger hunt, face painting, and crafts! Take as many trolley rides as you would like operated by period dressed motormen. Inside the Visitor Center you will find more static trolley cars and artifacts, a theater showing a short film about trolleys and a gift shop to buy that ‘special’ souvenir. Entrance into the Connecticut Fire Museum complete with antique fire trucks and apparatus is included with admission price. 413-627-6540. 58 North Road. East Windsor, CT. (<$)

Saturday, April 8, 10:30am
EASTER/EGG HUNT
Easter egg hunts support community engagement and placemaking, since they often take place outdoors in shared public spaces and bring neighborhood families together. The Rotary Club of Franklin County and Trinity Church will be offering an Easter egg hunt with a chance to meet the Easter bunny! There will be hunts for three age groups: 0-5, 6-8, and 9-13. 17 Severance Street. Shelburne Falls, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 8, 11:30am-12:30pm
FIBER ARTS/SEWING
Spring is a great time for gardening, as well as cleaning and decorating both inside and outside. People with intermediate sewing skills are invited to the Ramsdell Library to learn the basics of designing a flag to display outside or inside your home. A colorful flag could be a great addition to a porch or garden. This event could help fiber artists who want to branch out and start a new project. This workshop will show participants how to choose and cut fabric for a flag. Sewing will take place at home. 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 8, 11:30am-3:30pm
ART STUDIES/HISTORY
Art is inextricably tied to culture; therefore, historic art can teach us a great deal about historic cultures. The Smith College Museum of Art is offering a Free Community Day full of learning about Ancient Rome. Visitors can explore the exhibition, Leisure and Luxury in the Age of Nero: The Villas of Oplontis near Pompeii, enjoy a storytime, taste olive oil and explore a sensory recreation of a Roman Garden! Studying the city of Pompeii also ties into learning about geology and archaeology. At the event Smith College geoscientists will explain the science behind volcanic rocks and archaeology students will demonstrate what it’s like to excavate a site like Oplontis. All ages are welcome. Visit the Smith College Museum of Art website for more details. 413-585-2760. 20 Elm Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 8, 12pm-12am
ART STUDIES/CREATIVE FREE PLAY
Community art projects encourage intergenerational learning, self-expression, and creative free play! The 3rd Annual Hilltown Draw-Around invites people of all ages to help create a giant mandala, or add self-portraits to the community gallery. Come get inspired by other artistic community members, and participate in workshops! There will be storytelling and live music as well during this 12-hour event. Participants will have 4,000 square feet of drawing space to work with. All proceeds support ARTeens, a pay-what-you-can after-school program of the Shelburne Falls Art Garden. All activities will take place in the Cowell Community Gym. 413-625-2782. 51 Maple Street. Shelburne Falls, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 8, 1pm-4pm
ART STUDIES
Smith College students have been helping to develop the MacLeish Field Station, an area of forest and farmland in Whately, for a variety of educational purposes. You can explore their work at “Arts Afield Launch Stroll.” This interdisciplinary learning event will feature public talks, opportunities for writing, reflection, artistic and philosophical inquiry and more. For full details and directions email email rbertone@smith.edu. MacLeish Field Station. Whately, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 8, 2pm
BOTANY
Flowers are the reproductive structure in floral plants. Flowers co-evolved along with insects, developing colors, shapes, and scents which are particularly attractive to pollinating birds or bees. In human culture, these beautiful, attractive elements have made flowers an object of admiration for artists. Flowers have made their way into human symbolism and rituals. The Festival of Flowers at the Springfield Museums celebrates this connection between humans and plants. The festival will feature four dozen objects from the art, history and science collections and creative interpretation by local florists, designers, and garden club members. A new feature to this annual event is the offering of an Afternoon Tea. Enjoy handcrafted teas among the colorful floral arrangements in the Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. ($$)

Saturday, April 8, 2pm
LOCAL HISTORY
Although World War II is usually credited with ushering women into the workforce, it was in fact World War I that first witnessed substantial numbers of women entering into wartime industries. For many women, employment at the Springfield Armory was a gateway to newfound opportunities and independence. Starting in World War I and continuing until it closed its doors in 1968, Springfield Armory hired large numbers of women to help meet wartime production requirements. “Doing Our Bit: Springfield Answers the WWI Call to Arms” will highlight the contributions of women ordinance workers to the war effort. It will focus on a wide variety of topics including wartime production, propaganda, workforce diversification, and social life. Park Ranger Krystal Vezina paints a vivid picture of the wartime employment experience through Armory newsletters, archival photographs, and other historical documents and items. Springfield Armory National Historic Site. 413-734-8551. One Armory Square. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 8, 2:30pm-4:30pm
SERVICE-BASED LEARNING/ECOLOGY
Adventures in or along local rivers offer the opportunity to learn about ecology. The Housatonic River is one of Western Massachusetts’ many amazing bodies of water. You can become familiar with the Housatonic river by attending a Stream Team Training, and learning how to complete river assessments. Volunteers will walk or paddle a 1 – 2 mile segment of the river and record observations. This training session at the Berkshire Athenaeum will give you all the necessary knowledge and skills to volunteer. Call the Housatonic Valley Association at 413-298-7024 to register. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 8, 5:30pm-9pm
ART STUDIES/INTERGENERATIONAL
Teen art expos bring the voices and perspectives of youth to an audience of all ages, helping teens to be included and respected within the community. Goshen Rocks Youth Arts Expo presented by People to Watch: The Next Generation will feature music, film, poetry, visual art and crafts, all created by teens! Local bands include Ursa Minor, Felixis Jinx, Luna, North Star Band, Parlicium, Raspberry Jam, and Third Dimension. There will be short films by Tobias Lamontagne, Ben Tobin, and Gus Ganley. By celebrating the voices of teens within an intergenerational, community-based context, families can offer youth of any age a powerful example of what it means to be a part of a community. Goshen Town Hall. Goshen, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 8, 7pm
EDUCATION/WOMEN’S STUDIES
Millions of girls worldwide are not offered opportunities for education. The 2013 documentary Girl Rising uses storytelling to inspire action that gets girls into classrooms. Deerfield Senior Girl Scout Troop 11240 will be offering two screening of the film, on Friday April 7 and Saturday April 8. The April 7 viewing is intended for parents to have the opportunity to preview the film before bringing their children. The film is rated PG-13, with no violent or graphic scenes, however, film may not be appropriate for all children. Frontier Regional Auditorium. 113 North Main Street. South Deerfield, MA. (<$)

Saturday, April 8, 7pm
MUSIC STUDIES/JAZZ STUDIES
Jazz is a genre which lets individual musicians shine through the impressive feat of improvisation. Rather than consisting of a single catchy chorus repeated between verses throughout the song (as in most modern popular music), jazz songs tend to begin with a chorus accompanied by a melody known as the “head.” This melody can be repeated or throughout or played only once more at the end of the song. Jazz musicians tend to know a wide array of “standard” songs such that a group of jazz musicians could get together, call a tune, and play immediately. Saxophonist and composer Kris Allen and his quartet present will be offering a night of jazz standards and original compositions at the Clark Art Institute. For jazz experts and novices alike this is bound to be an enjoyable and educational performance. Allen has performed throughout the United States and worldwide as a composer, arranger, and bandleader. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. ($$)

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Sunday, April 9, 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. Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcast anytime – click here to see over 9 years of archived shows.

Sunday, April 9, 10am-4:30pm
EASTER/HISTORY
Connecticut Trolley Museum will hold Easter Bunny Fun Days, featuring pictures with the Easter Bunny, an Easter scavenger hunt, face painting, and crafts! Take as many trolley rides as you would like operated by period dressed motormen. Inside the Visitor Center you will find more static trolley cars and artifacts, a theater showing a short film about trolleys and a gift shop to buy that ‘special’ souvenir. Entrance into the Connecticut Fire Museum complete with antique fire trucks and apparatus is included with admission price. 413-627-6540. 58 North Road. East Windsor, CT. (<$)

Sunday, April 9, 3pm
MUSIC STUDIES
How many stringed instruments can you name? There are guitars, lutes, ukuleles, mandolins, violins, the list goes on. These instruments vary in all sorts of ways including their pitch, their size, and their tuning. Instruments in the violin family are held along one arm, or placed upright between the legs, as opposed to guitars, ukuleles, and mandolins. Even pianos are string instruments; hitting the keys causes a hammer to strike a string. An upcoming Smith College faculty recital with cellist Volcy Pelletier will feature cello, piano, and violin, all stringed instruments. Cellist Pelletier will be joined by Hiromi Fukuda on piano and Joel Pitchon on violin. They will play works by Ron Perera and Benjamin Britten. Sweeney Concert Hall, Sage Hall. 144 Green Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, April 9, 3pm
POETRY
Translation, as well as the study of other cultures and languages, can have an interesting impact on one’s writing. Polina Barskova and Eugene Ostashevsky are two poets are two poets steeped in the study of more than one literary tradition. Barskova has authored eight books of poetry and one book of prose in Russian. Ostashevsky is the author of the poetry collections The Pirate Who Does Not Know the Value of Pi, Life and Opinions of DJ Spinoza, Iterature, and translated Alexander Vvendsky’s An Invitation for Me to Think. Come to a reading of their works at the Jones Library and learn how Russian and English literature have impacted their poetic writing. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, April 9, 3pm
MUSIC STUDIES/CHOIR
Hear music from all over the world at the Amherst College Glee Club concert! The works performed have been chosen by graduating students, and include a mix of sacred and secular music. The performance will feature music from the Republic of Georgia, Japan, Ireland, and Macedonia. The concert will conclude with the traditional “Senior Song” by James S. Hamilton (Class of 1906) and the passing of the historic senior chalice. Come support these young musicians, some of whom are soon to graduate, and hear world music. Buckley Recital Hall. Arms Music Center at Amherst College. 53 College Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, April 9, 4pm-5:30pm
PARENTING
Preschool is a tough time for lots of kids! Aggression, noncooperation, tantrums, shyness and feeding issues are all common behavioral problem areas for preschool aged children. Northampton Area Pediatrics is offering a parenting workshop to discuss these issues and offer tips for dealing with them effectively and compassionately. Sharon Saline, Psy.D. and Jonathan Schwab, M.D. will run this workshop. Call 413-517-2226 to register. 193 Locust Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, April 9, 7pm
BALLET
On April 9th, American Liberty Ballet presents “Sylvia ou la Nymphe de Diane,” an original 3 act ballet choreographed by Valerie Mae Browne. Since 1876 only 12 choreographers have ever tackled this difficult ballet: taking stage at the Academy of Music. Set to the romantic score of Léo Delibes, Sylvia is a classical ballet set in an Arcadian forest, where a shepherd boy falls in love with a huntress nymph loyal to the goddess Diana. When arrows and hearts go awry, deities intervene to save Sylvia, in this captivating mythological love story. Sylvia is played by Bolshoi trained ballerina Natasha Sheptalova. American Liberty Ballet is comprised of 15 highly skilled classically trained dancers from all over the world. For tickets: americanlibertyballet.com. Northampton, MA ($)

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Monday, April 10, 2017

Storyhour & Playgroups: East Longmeadow, Pelham & Whately

Monday, April 10, 10am-2pm
STEM/ENGINEERING
LEGO activities can engage kids in problem solving and planning while helping them build their motor skills. Children ages 3-12 are invited to construct a futuristic flying machine using the New England Air Museum collection of LEGOs. Prizes will be awarded in three age categories, and winners need not be present to win. Visit the museum with your children to learn about aerospace science and history and engage in this fun, creative project. This program is part of Spring Fling, two weeks of educational programming at the New England Air Museum. Check their website for full details. 860-623-330. 36 Perimeter Road. Windsor Locks, CT. (Adult $; Ages 4-11 <$; Members and ages 3 and under FREE)

Monday, April 10, 7pm
POETRY
One of the beautiful things about poetry, and in fact all art forms, is the way in which a poem can elicit widely different reactions and associations from different readers. Poetry reading groups can enrich your experience through diverse perspectives. The Forbes Library is offering an ongoing, poetry discussion group on Mondays through May 15. On April 10, participants will discuss poems published in the New Yorker. The New Yorker is a highly reputable American magazine which has been publishing creative writing and journalism since 1925. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

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Tuesday, April 11, 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, April 11, 10am-11am
PARENTING/LANGUAGE
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)

Tuesday, April 11, 10am-2pm
STEM/ASTRONOMY
Constellation viewers can help kids learn the shapes of constellations and know what to look for in the night sky. Families are invited to New England Air Museum to learn about the history of constellations and build their own constellation viewer out of paper materials. Constellations helped humans over time to learn about the movement of celestial bodies, through the discovery that what is visible in the night sky changes seasonally. This program is part of Spring Fling, two weeks of educational programming at the New England Air Museum. Check their website for full details. 860-623-330. 36 Perimeter Road. Windsor Locks, CT. (Adult $; Ages 4-11 <$; Members and ages 3 and under FREE)

Tuesday, April 11, 4pm-6pm
FIBER ARTS/INTERGENERATIONAL
Sewing and other fiber arts are useful skills with a rich history. The ability to repair clothing, however, has fallen out of fashion. You can introduce fiber arts to your children in a “no experience necessary” atmosphere by attending the Inter-Generational Bag Sew Group at the Senior Center Cafe in Haydenville. The basic skills will be taught. There will be many ways to get involved including sewing and cutting fabric. Bring a sewing machine if you have one. Participants will sew cloth bags for the Williamsburg library, pharmacy and local food pantries in partnership with The Bag Share Project. This is also an opportunity to teach your children about recycling and reuse. The cafe is located in the town office building. For more information call the Senior Center at 413-268-8407. 141 Main Street. Haydenville, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, April 11, 5:30pm-7:30pm
PARENTING
Community Network for Chidlren is offering a discussion series- “Families Connecting”- for parents to discuss various topics. The focus will be on families with children between 0-8 years of age. On April 11, “Positive Behavior – the whole family,” participants will explore holistic approaches to behavioral improvement. Parents are invited to join in on the discussion on April 11 and later on May 23 when the group will make a plan moving forward and decide on what topics they will be focusing on next. Childcare and dinner will be offered during the events. Call 978-544-5157 to register. Swift River School. 201 Wendell Road. New Salem, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, April 11, 5:30pm-7:30pm
PARENTING
Problematic behaviors in young children often have hidden emotional meanings and explanations. Identifying the reason behind a problem behavior and examining what happens immediately before and after this behavior can help parents to curb it. The Collaborative for Educational Services parenting workshop, “Facing the Challenge,” will help parents to identify three parts of a behavior plan: preventions, new skills to teach, and new responses. Attend the workshop to receive useful tips and commiserate with other local parents. Registration is required through the Collaborative website. 413-586-4900. This session will take place at the Palmer/Monson Family Network. 4 Springfield Street. Three Rivers, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, April 11, 6pm
MUSIC STUDIES/AFRICAN MUSIC
A West African instrument, the “kora,” has 21 strings and is native to the Mande peoples who live within the countries of Gambia, Senegal, Mali, Guinea, and Guinea Bissau. It is a melodic and seemingly peaceful though traditionally, kora songs tell ancient stories of war and hardship. The kora is 300 years old but it is used to play songs up to 800 years old. You can learn more about this instrument and West African music in general by attending a concert and educational demonstration by Sean Gaskell at the Holyoke Public Library. 413-420-8101. 250 Chestnut Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, April 11, 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 28, April 4 and 11. 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 Ware Family Center. 49 Church Street. Ware, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, April 11, 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)

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Wednesday, April 12, 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, April 12, 8am-10am
ORNITHOLOGY/GUIDED NATURE HIKE
Spring is in the air…and so are migratory birds! Beginner and expert bird watchers alike are invited to Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary to look for species of wood warblers, orioles, thrushes, and more, who make their temporary homes here in the warm months. Participants will walk through wetlands, meadows, and woodlands. During this weekly event participants will see how the ecology changes and different birds arrive over time. Please bring binoculars. This program is for adults and will be instructed by Pleasant Valley’s caretaker. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road. Lenox, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, April 12, 9:30am-5pm
AGRICULTURE
Farm life follows the path of the seasons. In March and April, it’s time to start planting leafy greens and root crops as one prepares for the warmer months ahead. It is also a time of new life on a farm when animals are born. Homeschool Day at Old Sturbridge Village invites homeschoolers and their parents to see the gardens and baby animals! There will also be several Spring-inspired workshops throughout the day including basket weaving and open hearth cooking. Check the Old Sturbridge Village website for full details. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. ($)

Wednesday, April 12, 10am-2pm
STEM/PHYSICS
Pinwheels, propellers, wind turbines, windmills- they all have a similar shape. Why? Symmetry is the scientific secret behind the movement of wind-powered tools and toys. Kids with an interest in physics and hands-on activities should come to the pinwheel make and take at New England Air Museum to learn more! This program is part of Spring Fling, two weeks of educational programming at the New England Air Museum. Check their website for full details. 860-623-330. 36 Perimeter Road. Windsor Locks, CT. (Adult $; Ages 4-11 <$; Members and ages 3 and under FREE)

Wednesday, April 12, 12:15pm
ASTRONOMY
What do stargazing and advanced mathematics have in common? Astronomy! Some people are satisfied to admire the beauty of the sky while others want to engage their curiosity. Discovering facts such as how far away celestial bodies are from each other requires complex mathematical equations. This interest also intersects with an interest in spacecraft and space exploration. W. Lowell Putnam, IV, sole trustee of the Lowell Observatory, will be giving a presentation on modern astronomical research, including the search for exoplanets (planets circling distant stars). The audience is invited to bring a lunch to enjoy during the program. Springfield Museums. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. (<$)

Wednesday, April 12, 1pm-2pm
YOGA
Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual practice which dates back to the fifth century BC and originates in India. Why has yoga become such a globally widespread, popular activity? Yoga can help you build your physical strength and flexibility, connect you to the present moment, and relieve stress. No matter what you wish to get out of your yoga practice, attending a beginner’s course is a great way to get started. The Storrs Library is offering a beginner’s yoga class on Wednesdays April 12 and 19. These classes will get you started with basic poses and also teach you how to use the online lesson streaming service Hoopla so you can continue this practice from home. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, April 12, 1pm-3pm
HEALTH
How can art help us to engage with loved ones affected by memory loss? A community talk, “Every Picture Tells a Story,” will offer positive ways of looking at memory loss and offer ideas for creating engaging moments between caregivers and adults with dementia. Participants will hear from experts who have executed dementia-specific museum and art-making programs including at home museum visits. This workshop is limited to 30 people. Call 413-637-5535 to register. Lenox Community Center. 65 Walker Street. Lenox, MA. (FREE)

OPEN HOUSE/SUMMER 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. Open House: April 12 at 5:30pm & April 22 at 10:30am, at Smith College Seeley Hall Rm. 101.

Wednesday, April 12, 7pm-8:30pm
ORNITHOLOGY
Courtship displays, in which animals attempt to attract mates through a set of behaviors, can take the form of dances, songs, or displays or strength. These displays are more commonly executed by males, or done mutually, though there are a small number of species whose females execute courtship displays. The courtship display of the American woodcock is executed by males, and it is both a dance and a song, designed to both attract a mate and mark territory. Wet meadows and fields in early Spring set the stage for the woodcock dance. Lifelong birder Dale Abrams will be helping community members look and listen for the American woodcock at Canoe Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary. This event is suitable for children six and up. 413-637-0320. Holmes Road. Pittsfield, MA. (<$)

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Thursday, April 13, 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, April 13, 10am-2pm
STEM/ROCKETS
“Rocket science” is generally understood to be a difficult area of study. Still, even young children can engage with rocket science, learning basic principles of physics and engineering, through simple hands-on activities. New England Air Museum is offering a rocket activity which will teach kids about the history of rocketry while allowing them to design, build, and race their own rocket balloons! This program is part of Spring Fling, two weeks of educational programming at the New England Air Museum. Check their website for full details. 860-623-330. 36 Perimeter Road. Windsor Locks, CT. (Adult $; Ages 4-11 <$; Members and ages 3 and under FREE)

Thursday, April 13, 6:30pm
LITERACY
Ellen Meeropol is author of three books: House Arrest (2011), On Hurricane Island (2015), and Kinship of Clover (2017). Her books explore such diverse topics as botany/species extinction, cults, and terrorism, while in each book also conveying complex human relationships. She will be giving a talk at the Granby Library to discuss her writing process and her work. Copies of her books are available at the library for loan. You do not need to read any in advance to attend. 413-467-3320. 297 East State Street. Granby, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, April 13, 6:30pm
AGROBIOLOGY/PLANT AND SOIL SCIENCE
Agrobiology is a branch of biology which explores soil science and plant nutrition as it relates to crop production. Ed Stockman is an agrobiologist and a 4th generation farmer. He will be sharing his knowledge with visitors of the Meekins Library with his talk “The High Cost of Cheap Food: pesticide residues.” The quality of food has significantly decreased over the past two decades. He will explain why and provide a farmer and scientist’s perspective. 413-268-7472. 2 Williams Street. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)

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Friday, April 14, 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, April 14, 8am-10am
ORNITHOLOGY
Spring is in the air…and so are migratory birds! Beginner and expert bird watchers alike are invited to Canoe Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary to look for species of wood warblers, orioles, thrushes, and more, who make their temporary homes here in the warm months. Participants will walk through wetlands, meadows, and woodlands. During this weekly event participants will see how the ecology changes and different birds arrive over time. Please bring binoculars. This program is for adults and will be instructed by Noreen Mole – Sanctuary Volunteer and Hoffmann Bird Club leader. 413-637-0320. Holmes Road. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, April 14, 10am-4:30pm
EASTER/HISTORY
Connecticut Trolley Museum will hold Easter Bunny Fun Days, featuring pictures with the Easter Bunny, an Easter scavenger hunt, face painting, and crafts! Take as many trolley rides as you would like operated by period dressed motormen. Inside the Visitor Center you will find more static trolley cars and artifacts, a theater showing a short film about trolleys and a gift shop to buy that ‘special’ souvenir. Entrance into the Connecticut Fire Museum complete with antique fire trucks and apparatus is included with admission price. 413-627-6540. 58 North Road. East Windsor, CT. (<$)

Friday, April 14, 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, April 14, 11am-1pm
EASTER/EGG HUNT
Looking for a good place to take your child for an Easter egg hunt? Attend the 3rd Annual Easter Egg hunt at the New England Air Museum and you can also explore historic aircraft and learn about aviation history! Attendees will be able to try computerized flight simulators and participate in fly challenges. All activities are included in regular museum admission. Children ages 1-10 are invited to participate in an egg hunt and meet the Easter bunny! Please bring your own basket. 860-623-330. 36 Perimeter Road. Windsor Locks, CT. (Adult $; Ages 4-11 <$; Members and ages 3 and under FREE)

Friday, April 14, 11:30 to 1:20pm
ICE SKATING
Ice skating, whether indoors or outdoors, is a fun physical activity for kids and adults. Families are invited to skate at the Mullins Center at UMass Amherst on Fridays in March and April. Check the Mullins Center website for a full calendar and details. To learn about the 3,000 year old practice of ice skating as well as other local resources, read our post, Ice Skating in Western MA. The Mullins Center rink accepts cash or check only. Governors Drive. Amherst, MA. (Child <$)

Friday, April 14, 4pm-8pm
ART STUDIES
Fresco is a mural painting technique involving a plaster setting such that the painting becomes part of the wall. Art lovers of all ages are invited to view the Smith College Museum of Art exhibit Fresco Fragments, and draw inspiration for hands-on art activities. Participants will be able to take home their own fresco replica embellished with vines, leaves, and flowers. There will be a guided talk at 6pm and a screening of Layers of Pompeii (2016) at 7pm. People of all ages tend to be fascinated by the story of Pompeii, a sixth century BC town destroyed, yet preserved, by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. 413-585-2760. 20 Elm Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Friday, April 14, 7pm-9pm
MUSIC STUDIES
Like any other skill, playing and writing music are abilities which grow and evolve for musicians over time. Doug Hewitt is a musician with over thirty years of songwriting experience. He plays original compositions which are a fusion of rock and jazz. He will be performing at the Great Falls Discovery Center Coffeehouse. Each months the discovery center brings musicians and fans of local music together for an evening out. Donations support educational programming at the Center. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (DONATION)

Friday, April 14, 8pm
ASTRONOMY
An interest in studying astronomy can develop from an interest in mathematical calculation, or a simple appreciation for the beauty of the sky. Planetarium shows at the Hopkins Observatory feature demonstrations of a range of phenomena including: retrograde motions of the planets, phases of the moon, the varying temperatures/colors of stars, locations of neighboring galaxies, the mythological figures and zodiacal signs ascribed to constellations, and much more. They will be offering free shows on Friday evenings through running through May 12. Call 413-597-2188 for more information. Williams College. 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, Ashfield, Bernardston, Chester, Chesterfield, Conway, Erving, Heath, Holyoke, Ludlow, Montague, Montgomery, Pelham, Rowe, Russell, Shutesbury, South Hadley, Springfield, Ware, and Warwick Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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