100+ Suggested Events in Western MA: December 28, 2019 – January 10, 2020

Awarded the “Essential Agent of Change Award” by the MDPH’s Massachusetts Essentials for Childhood, Hilltown Families is recognized as a leading family strengthening initiative in the region, promoting “positive parenting through the social norm of community social connectedness.” Serving Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families continues to support the development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, farms, individuals, schools, and non-profit organizations are invited to collaborate with Hilltown Families in their community outreach. With over 9,000 opt-in subscribers and 2.6+ million visits to our web site alone, Hilltown Families can deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA! Find out about our affordable advertising options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by contacting us at info@hilltownfamilies.org… and scroll down to discover community-based educational events and community building opportunities happening this weekend and next week in Western MA!

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Bulletin Board

Dec 26 – 30

Holiday Vacation Programs: With schools out for the holidays, the New England Air Museum is hosting a series of daily interactive workshops. Activities will be offered from 10:30am-2:30pm each day and are included with admission (unless otherwise noted). Workshops include Lunar Landscape Painting (12/26), 1st Annual LEGO Brick Aircraft Contest (12/27), Marshmallow Constellations (12/28), Straw Rocket Challenge (12/29), and a Model Airplane Workshop & Demonstrations (12/30). The museum will be closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day and closing at 3pm on both Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. For more information about these and other events, visit www.neam.org or call 860-623-3305. NEAM is located at 36 Perimeter Rd., Windsor Locks, CT.

Jan 1

Mark your calendars! On the first day of 2020, Hilltown Families and Flywheel are partnering again in the beloved annual New Year’s Day Morning Dance Party, a breakfast bash featuring food, dancing, and diversions for kids held at Flywheel Arts Collective on Wednesday, January 1, from 10am-12noon. New this year, local storyteller, Tom McCabe, will spin a yarn while folks enjoy a community pancake breakfast. After breakfast, families can join DJ Youthelectronix for the “best ever dance party before noon.“. This annual event is a fundraiser to benefit the work of Flywheel Arts Collective. Minimum suggested donation: $6/person. Start the new year with a New Year’s Day Music Dance Party. Save on the babysitter and dance away on the first morning of the new year! So much cheaper than a night out on the town and just as much fun! Flywheel Arts Collective. 413-527-9800. 43 Main St, Easthampton, MA.

Open House: Jan 11

The Common School: Community, collaboration, inclusivity, social justice, environmental education- Come learn how these words are put into action at their winter Open House on Saturday, January 11, from 10am-12noon. Play in their classrooms, meet their teachers, chat with current parents, and tour their beautiful campus situated amongst 120 acres of conservation land on Larch Hill in Amherst. Light refreshments provided. Questions? Contact Director of Admissions, Dana Kadish at outreach@commonschool.org or visit www.commonschool.org.

Info Sessions Jan 11, 29 & Feb 3

Four Rivers Charter Public School in Greenfield will host Admissions Information Sessions for prospective students and families on Saturday, January 11 at 10am, Wednesday, January 29 at 7pm, and Saturday, February 3 at 10am. Meet faculty, administrators, current students, and parents; look at samples of student work; see what makes this public school distinct. Accepting applications for Fall 2020 in grades 7-12, Four Rivers is dedicated to educating young people for lives of learning and service. Call 413-775-4577 (x105) or go to www.fourriverscharter.org/admissions.

Accepting applications for fall 2020. The Bement School founded in 1925 and located in Deerfield is a co-educational junior boarding and day school serving 225 students in kindergarten through grade 9. At Bement, the innovative educational approach and rigorous curriculum prepare students well for competitive secondary schools and to tackle the challenges of life. Students work hard, learn to overcome obstacles, persevere with joy and optimism, develop a strong sense of self, and find ways to help others. Children and adults at Bement work together to create a community where all members cultivate mutual respect and understanding within the school and the world. For info on how to arrange a campus visit, call 413-774-4209 www.bement.org.

Auditions: Jan 5

Do you know children who are talented instrumentalists? Are they motivated to practice and make music with other young musicians? The Pioneer Valley Symphony Youth Orchestra offers a dynamic & supportive ensemble environment for talented musicians in middle & high school. Directed by Steven Bathory-Peeler, PVSYO performs in 2 standalone concerts and also collaborates with the Pioneer Valley Symphony Orchestra. Chamber ensemble opportunities are also offered. The PVSYO rehearses at Greenfield High School on Sundays from 5:30-7:30 during the school year. Auditions for all instruments (except trumpet & clarinet) will be held in Greenfield on Jan 5, 2020, 5:30-7:30. To learn more or register for an audition, visit www.pvsoc.org/youth-orchestra.

Imagine a cozy space where caretakers and their little people are invited to read, create, play, & linger together. Now place it in downtown Florence, right off the bike path—then add bike & stroller parking, comfy spots for relaxing & feeding, and a family-friendly bathroom. It’s High Five Books, a NEW independent kids’ community bookstore. High Five Books is the neighborhood go-to for new board & picture books, early- and middle-grade readers, YA books & graphic novels, plus art kits and other creative supplies. They share their welcoming space with Art Always, an art school for children & adults. They offer $5 daily drop-in art sessions, family literacy & art events, and snacks. And, of course, high fives anytime. www.highfivebooks.org

Western Massachusetts is rich in learning opportunities to supplement the interests of children, teens, and lifelong learners! Hilltown Families Class Directory features classes, lessons, enrichment programs, and membership opportunities across Western Massachusetts and throughout the year. Our Class Directory makes it easier to find these gems while connecting families with resources that support their interests and education, including theater, music, dance, art, and much more. — Have a class, private lesson, or program you’d like to include in our directory? More Information. | Reserve a spot. | Submit your listing.

MARKET YOUR PRESCHOOL: Are you looking for a preschool that fits your child’s personality and reflects your family’s values for next year? Check out our Preschool Directory, which features preschools and programs across Western MA. Find the perfect place for your young one! ♦ If you have a school or program you would like to add to our directory, contact us at info@hilltownfamilies.org for more information on how you can be added at any time.

ADVERTISE HERE: Want to reach thousands of families living across Western MA? See your community event, after-school program, summer camp, class, school, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business, fundraiser, or non-profit featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter! Find out about our affordable advertising options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by contacting us at info@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
December 28, 2019 – January 10, 2020

Saturday, Dec 28Sunday, Dec 29
Monday, Dec 30Tuesday, Dec 31Wednesday, Jan 1
Thursday, Jan 2Friday, Jan 3

Saturday, Jan 4Sunday, Jan 5
Monday, Jan 6Tuesday, Jan 7Wednesday, Jan 8
Thursday, Jan 9Friday, Jan 10

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The events below are shared as a courtesy. While we do our best to share accurate and up-to-date information, please take the time to confirm date, time, place, age appropriateness, registration requirements, and costs before attending.

Events Happening in the Hilltown


Saturday, December 28

Saturday, December 28, 9-10am – FAMILY RADIO: Hilltown Family Variety Show City Songs of Hope & Healing Episode with Guest DJ, Alastair Moock. Alastair and his twin girls guide us through a selection of songs that remind us of the small joys and sometimes difficult moments that pull us together. These new and old rootsy tunes — from Pete Seeger to The Okee Dokee Brothers — will have you and your kids dancing, singing, and hugging! Click here select from over 13 years of archived shows! It’s better than Saturday morning cartoons and commercial radio! ♥ Hilltown Families eNewsletter subscribers are invited to an exclusive sneak peak every Thursday of the upcoming show. Check your eNewsletter to listen any time. Not a subscriber? Click here to subscribe to our free Weekly eNewsletter!

Saturday, December 28, 10:30am-2pm – HOLIDAY VACATION PROGRAMMING: With schools out for the holidays, the New England Air Museum is hosting a series of daily interactive workshops. Activities will be offered from 10:30am-2:30pm each day and are included with admission (unless otherwise noted). Workshops include: Marshmallow Constellations (12/28), Straw Rocket Challenge (12/29), and a Model Airplane Workshop & Demonstrations (12/30). For more information about these and other events, visit www.neam.org or call 860-623-3305. NEAM is located at 36 Perimeter Rd., Windsor Locks, CT.

Saturday, December 28, 10am-5pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES/STEM: Everything is Awesome! Build It Week. Live your LEGO dreams at the Museums. Springfield Museums. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA.

Saturday, December 28, 11am-12:30pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURES: Family-Friendly Outdoor Adventures at Mount Greylock, an afternoon of winter activities, including snow tubing for the little ones, a snowshoe demonstration, and a self-guided hike along the Bradley Farm Trail. Dress in layers, and wear sturdy snow boots. Traction devices, trekking poles, or your own snowshoes are advisable for the hike. Snowshoes will be available to try out during the Snowshoe Demo for ages 8 and up. Free and open to all ages. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Mount Greylock Visitor Center. 413-499-4262. 30 Rockwell Road, Lanesborough, MA.

Saturday, December 28, 11am & 1:30pm – PERFORMANCE ART/PUPPETS: CactusHead Puppets presents a circus like no other! Join Max, the Monsters’ Caretaker, in this fun and interactive show performed with several different styles of puppets as they guide you through the world of monsters, and maybe even lend the monsters a hand yourself. You’ll meet many friendly monsters in this table-top big top, and witness their amazing tricks of daring-do! All are invited to step right up and enjoy the thrills of Clarissa the Crested Cannon, experience the chills of Eustace the Uni-Browed, Uni-cycling, Uni-monster as he tackles the Sinister Snake Slack-rope, make friends with the Fiery Fanged Worm, and more in The Magnificent Monster Circus! The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. 413-559-6300. 125 W Bay Rd, Amherst, MA.

Saturday, December 28, 1-2pm – PALEONTOLOGY/FOSSILS: Rocking with the Fossils: A Family Program. Examine a simulated version of Dinosaur Footprints Reservation and make inferences about the trackmakers. Photos and investigations demonstrate what it takes to become a fossil and where they are most likely found. Make your own “fossil” to take home for children age 6-12 with their grown-ups, siblings, and curious adults. Meet inside the Great Hall. Great Falls Discovery Center. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA.

Saturday, December 28, 1-2:15pm – MUSIC STUDIES/SONGWRITING WORKSHOP: Youth Singer/Songwriter Workshop & Open Mic. If you are a young singer/songwriter or the caregiver of one, this is an opportunity to gain valuable performance and songwriting experience and learn from a pro. BJ Korona leads this monthly singer/songwriter workshop and an open mic for ages 7-16. Each session begins with a songwriting workshop and is followed by an open mic. All levels are welcome. Bring the whole family and enjoy delicious house-made beverages, local brews, snacks, and meals. Mill 180 Park.180 Pleasant Street, Easthampton, MA.

Saturday, December 28, 1-3pm – SPORTS/GYMNASTICS: Hampshire Gymnastics School has an open gym during the holiday break. Try out the air bag, practice your skills, swing on the rings, and burn off some energy with your friends. All kids ages 5yo+ are welcome. You don’t need to be a student to attend. Hampshire Gymnastics School. 413-256-6990. 461 West Street. Amherst, MA.

Saturday, December 28, 2-3:30pm – ART STUDIES/MONET: Film: Water Liles of Monet. Voyage through the masterpieces and obsessions of the genius and founder of Impressionism, Claude Monet. An art-world disruptor at the turn of the twentieth century whose obsession with capturing light and water broke all convention, Monet revolutionized modern art with his timeless masterpieces. An in-depth, exclusive tour led by Monet scholars of the museums that house the largest collections of the prolific artist’s lilies paintings including the Musée Marmottan Monet, the Musée d’Orsay, the world-famous panels at the Musée de l’Orangerie and concluding with Monet’s own house and gardens at Giverny, the site where his fascination for water lilies was born. Run time: 80 minutes. Clark Art Institute. 413-458-2303. 225 South St, Williamstown, MA.

Saturday, December 28, 2:15-4pm – WINTER SPORTS/ICE SKATING: Learn to Skate, hosted by Springfield Police Department at Cyr Arena in Forest Park. This annual Learn to Skate l program returns with Springfield Police Officers and volunteers teaching kids how to ice skate. This very popular program is free and open to all children, not just Springfield residents. Bring a hockey or bike helmet, jacket, and gloves. Skates are provided if you need them. Cyr Arena Skating Rink. 413-787-6438. 200 Trafton Rd, Springfield, MA.

Saturday, December 28, 3-8pm – HISTORY/CHRISTMAS: Saint Francis of Assisi is credited with having created the first nativity scene, in Greccio, Italy, in 1223. Francis’ nativity scene used live actors and animals and reenactments of this kind became enormously popular throughout Christian Europe. Eventually statues and miniatures took the place of live actors. In England, it became customary to bake a mince pie in the shape of manger and fill it with a baby Jesus. After the Puritans banned Christmas in the 17th century, these pies were prohibited as “idolaterie in crust.” Old Sturbridge Village’s Christmas by Candlelight features a wide variety of old fashioned historical Christmas activities, including, of course, the famous nativity scene. This is a great opportunity to learn about how Christmas would have been celebrated in colonial New England. Old Sturbridge Village. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge, MA.

Saturday, December 28, 3:30pm – PUPPETRY/MARIONETTES: The popular puppeteer Carl Sprague will return to Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum in Lenox to charm all ages with the classic fairy-tale “The Frog Prince” for Christmas-week marionette performances. Come curious, and after the show, the audiences will have the opportunity to meet this wizard, who knows how to pull strings. Children’s refreshments will be served. Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum. 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street. Lenox, MA.

Saturday, December 28, 5-8pm – PLACEMAKING/FESTIVAL: From Hanukkah to Diwali and Christmas, communities all over the world mark the coming of winter with a festival of lights. There is something deep and powerful about creating light in the midst of the darkness, and it is no surprise that this ritual inspires such faith and hope to people around the world. This holiday season, Naumkeag in Stockbridge will be illuminated by thousands of shimmering lights and displays. Embrace the holiday spirit and the continued presence of light amidst the darkness with an evening of music, community cheer, and fun children’s activities. Naumkeag. 413-298-3239. 5 Prospect Hill Rd, Stockbridge, MA.


Sunday, December 29

Sunday, December 28, 7-8am – FAMILY RADIO: Hilltown Family Variety Show City Songs of Hope & Healing Episode with Guest DJ, Alastair Moock. Alastair and his twin girls guide us through a selection of songs that remind us of the small joys and sometimes difficult moments that pull us together. These new and old rootsy tunes — from Pete Seeger to The Okee Dokee Brothers — will have you and your kids dancing, singing, and hugging! Click here select from over 13 years of archived shows! It’s better than Saturday morning cartoons and commercial radio! ♥ Hilltown Families eNewsletter subscribers are invited to an exclusive sneak peak every Thursday of the upcoming show. Check your eNewsletter to listen any time. Not a subscriber? Click here to subscribe to our free Weekly eNewsletter!

Sunday, December 29, 10:30am-2pm – HOLIDAY VACATION PROGRAMMING: With schools out for the holidays, the New England Air Museum is hosting a series of daily interactive workshops. Activities will be offered from 10:30am-2:30pm each day and are included with admission (unless otherwise noted). Workshops include: Straw Rocket Challenge (12/29), and a Model Airplane Workshop & Demonstrations (12/30). For more information about these and other events, visit www.neam.org or call 860-623-3305. NEAM is located at 36 Perimeter Rd., Windsor Locks, CT.

Sunday, December 29, 11am-5pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES/STEM: Everything is Awesome! Build It Week. Live your LEGO dreams at the Museums. Springfield Museums. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA.

Sunday, December 29, 1-3pm – SPORTS/GYMNASTICS: Hampshire Gymnastics School has an open gym during the holiday break. Try out the air bag, practice your skills, swing on the rings, and burn off some energy with your friends. All kids ages 5yo+ are welcome. You don’t need to be a student to attend. Hampshire Gymnastics School. 413-256-6990. 461 West Street. Amherst, MA.

Sunday, December 29, 1-3:30pm – AYURVEDIC/HINDU MEDICINE: Ayurvedic Self Care for Winter. John AYN Founder Michelle Ryan for an afternoon of rejuvenating, restorative yoga and Ayurvedic daily practices that you can do for yourself or share with those you love, to help reboot after the holidays, prepare for the New Year, and help calm the body’s reaction to the coldest, darkest, and often most stressful time of the year in New England. The workshop fee includes workbook and supporting materials. All are welcome. Ashtanga Yoga Northampton. 25 Main St Ste 210. Northampton, MA.

Sunday, December 29, 3-8pm – HISTORY/CHRISTMAS: Saint Francis of Assisi is credited with having created the first nativity scene, in Greccio, Italy, in 1223. Francis’ nativity scene used live actors and animals and reenactments of this kind became enormously popular throughout Christian Europe. Eventually statues and miniatures took the place of live actors. In England, it became customary to bake a mince pie in the shape of manger and fill it with a baby Jesus. After the Puritans banned Christmas in the 17th century, these pies were prohibited as “idolaterie in crust.” Old Sturbridge Village’s Christmas by Candlelight features a wide variety of old fashioned historical Christmas activities, including, of course, the famous nativity scene. This is a great opportunity to learn about how Christmas would have been celebrated in colonial New England. Old Sturbridge Village. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge, MA.

Sunday, December 29, 4-5:30pm – MENORAH LIGHTING/LEGOS: LEGO Menorah Lighting, hosted by Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy. This year’s menorah will be made out of LEGO and will be 6 feet tall! The activities begin at 4pm and the menorah lighting at 5pm. There will be Chanukah activities, music, dreidels, hot cocoa, donuts, hot latkes, and hot coffee. Free and open to all. Longmeadow Shops. 690 Bliss Road. Longmeadow, MA.

Sunday, December 29, 4:30-7pm – HANUKKAH PARTY: Annual Hanukkah Party at Holyoke Hummus. Come play dreidel, light some candles, eat some latkes, sing some songs and more! Holyoke Hummus Company. 413-225-1755. 285 High Street. Holyoke, MA.

Sunday, December 29, 5-8pm – PLACEMAKING/FESTIVAL: From Hanukkah to Diwali and Christmas, communities all over the world mark the coming of winter with a festival of lights. There is something deep and powerful about creating light in the midst of the darkness, and it is no surprise that this ritual inspires such faith and hope to people around the world. This holiday season, Naumkeag in Stockbridge will be illuminated by thousands of shimmering lights and displays. Embrace the holiday spirit and the continued presence of light amidst the darkness with an evening of music, community cheer, and fun children’s activities. Naumkeag. 413-298-3239. 5 Prospect Hill Rd, Stockbridge, MA.


Monday, December 30

Monday, December 30, 10:30am-2pm – HOLIDAY VACATION PROGRAMMING: With schools out for the holidays, the New England Air Museum is hosting a series of daily interactive workshops. Activities will be offered from 10:30am-2:30pm each day and are included with admission (unless otherwise noted). Today’s workshop: Model Airplane Workshop & Demonstrations. For more information about these and other events, visit www.neam.org or call 860-623-3305. NEAM is located at 36 Perimeter Rd., Windsor Locks, CT.

Monday, December 30, 10am-5pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES/STEM: Everything is Awesome! Build It Week. Live your LEGO dreams at the Museums. Springfield Museums. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA.

Monday, December 30, 11:30am-12noon – NEW YEAR’S CELEBRATION/PreK: Baby New Years Party at the library! Join Sarah and Kat for an extra special New Year’s countdown… it’s going to be the smallest party in town! Zero to two-year-olds, along with parents and caregivers, are invited to a very special baby storytime and party! Ring in the new year (just a little bit early!) with songs, stories, puppets, and bubbles! Join in for a countdown to noon, and an apple juice toast. Formal attire for babies encouraged, but not necessary! Forbes Library. 413-587-1011. 20 West St, Northampton, MA.

Monday, December 30, 12-4pm –MOVEMENT/LOCAL HERITAGE: Some kids love, and benefit from, vestibular input. This term refers to our detection of motion, which is connected to the inner ear. All movement affects vestibular receptors, but some activities such as spinning, swinging, and hanging upside down, are particularly intense. The Holyoke Merry Go Round, known as “Holyoke’s Happiness Machine,” is a sensory treat for the young and old. This antique carousel with brightly painted wooden animals and calliope music was once part of Mountain Park, an amusement park on the side of Mt. Tom, and was moved to Holyoke Heritage Park when Mountain Park closed in 1987. Holyoke Merry Go Round. 413-538-9838. 221 Appleton St, Holyoke, MA.

Monday, December 30, 12:30-1:30pm – CULINARY ARTS/COMMUNITY MEAL: Love to cook? Join the Evening Cookbook Club at the library! Pick up a copy of this month’s cookbook, The Home Cook by Alex Guarnaschelli, select a recipe to prepare at home, and then bring it in for a taste testing and book discussion. This popular cookbook club meets monthly; new members are always welcome. Please register: Storrs Library. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street, Longmeadow, MA.

Monday, December 30, 1-3pm – SPORTS/GYMNASTICS: Hampshire Gymnastics School has an open gym during the holiday break. Try out the air bag, practice your skills, swing on the rings, and burn off some energy with your friends. All kids ages 5yo+ are welcome. You don’t need to be a student to attend. Hampshire Gymnastics School. 413-256-6990. 461 West Street. Amherst, MA.

Monday, December 30, 3:30pm – PUPPETRY/MARIONETTES: The popular puppeteer Carl Sprague will return to Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum in Lenox to charm all ages with the classic fairytale “The Frog Prince” for Christmas-week marionette performances. Come curious, and after the show, the audiences will have the opportunity to meet this wizard, who knows how to pull strings. Children’s refreshments will be served. Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum. 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street. Lenox, MA.


Tuesday, December 31

Tuesday, December 31, 10am-5pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES/HOLIDAYS: Springfield Museums, home of The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss, invites you to celebrate with the Gingerbread: Hollywood and the Holidays exhibit and Family Fun Holiday Happenings/Countdown to Christmas from November 29 through December 31, 2019. An annual event, the Gingerbread exhibit puts everyone in the holiday spirit. Gingerbread features a multitude of artistic culinary creations accented by creative murals, festively decorated trees, and other enchanting elements. Stop in also to view Sweet: A Tasty Journey for a history of candy and a chance to experience hands-on FUN while learning. And don’t forget to visit the Grinch, the beloved curmudgeon who helps us all remember, “Maybe Christmas means just a little bit more!” Springfield Museums. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA.

Tuesday, December 31, 11am and 1pm – PSYCHOLOGY/MAGIC: Ring in the New Year with The Magic of David Hall! Join Boston-based magician David Hall as he performs amazing magic and astonishing illusions. Refreshments will be served in the Crane Room at noon. Magician David Hall’s award-winning performances are full of wit, comedy, charm, stunning sleight-of-hand tricks, and incredible mind reading. His show is a blend of comedy magic and mind-reading – a combination that results in extraordinary and unforgettable performances. — Have you ever wondered how magic tricks really work? By studying the psychology behind magic, young magicians (and young psychologists) can uncover the “secrets” behind successful magic tricks and learn lots about the human brain at the same time! Berkshire Museum. 413-443-7171. 39 South St, Pittsfield, MA.

Tuesday, December 31, 1:30-2:30pm – NEW YEAR’S EVE/PreK: New Year’s Eve Party! Join the Union 38 Family Network and the Tilton Library for a New Year’s Eve celebration for children 0-5 and their caregiver(s) with festive crafts and snacks! Tilton Library. 413-665-4683. 75 North Main Street. South Deerfield, MA.

Tuesday, December 31, 3-5pm – NEW YEAR’S EVE/FAMILY: New Year’s Eve Celebration. It’s time to celebrate and ring in 2020! Join the library for an afternoon of Minute to Win It games, a festive craft, and a live showing of countries around the world ringing in the New Year on the projector screen. There will be snacks and sparkling juice to toast in a brand new year, just in case you can’t stay awake till midnight! For all ages. Springfield City Library: Brightwood Branch. 413-263-6805. 359 Plainfield St. Springfield, MA.

Tuesday, December 31, 5-11pm – NEW YEAR’S EVE/LIVE MUSIC: Franklin County Last Night – NYE 2019. Come one, come all to the first-ever Franklin County Last Night for live music. All ages welcome. Ring in 2020 together and support the prolific art-making born out of Franklin County. Shea Theater Arts Center. 413-648-7432. 71 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA.

NEW YEAR’S EVE CELEBRATIONS: A contemporary New England tradition, First Night is celebrated throughout the region but began in Massachusetts with Boston hosting the first First Night in 1975. Today, towns all over New England celebrate the new year with community festivities, including live music shows, gallery openings, art activities, performances, and more. In Western Massachusetts, several towns host First Night celebrations as a way to connect the community, support the local economy, and preserve the local history that makes this region unique and special. Northampton, in particular, organizes a sizeable First Night celebration that includes a full schedule of events and activities. During a First Night celebration, participants usually pay for a button to wear that allows them to discover all that the festival has to offer. You can expect to explore the local character of a town through its art community and civic organizations. Many First Night festivities include live performances of dance and music as well as gallery show openings of local artists’ work. Attending First Night events helps to support the arts in a community while connecting interests with the repeating patterns of seasonal celebrations.

First Night Northampton – Northampton, MA
In downtown Northampton, First Night Northampton is host to a variety of venues, performances, art, and activities. Afternoon activities are family-friendly with fireworks at 6pm and an evening filled with events for an older audience.

First Night Jr. – Holyoke, MA
An afternoon event on New Year’s Eve for families. Past activities have included magic shows, world-class juggling, face painting, balloon sculpture, and special craft activities.

Starry Starry Night – Orange, MA
Annual celebration throughout Orange that includes live performances, outdoor activities, and fireworks.

First Night Southwick – Southwick, MA
An afternoon and early evening of fun family activities! Highlights will include a bonfire, fireworks display, s’mores, crafts, and activities for kids, music for teens, and much more!


Wednesday, January 1

Wednesday, January 1, 10am-12pm – NEW YEAR’S DAY MUSIC PARTY/PANCAKE BREAKFAST: Mark your calendars! On the first day of 2020, Hilltown Families and Flywheel are partnering again in the beloved annual New Year’s Day Morning Dance Party, a breakfast bash featuring food, dancing, and diversions for kids held at Flywheel Arts Collective. New this year, local storyteller, Tom McCabe, will spin a yarn while folks enjoy a community pancake breakfast. After breakfast, families can join DJ Youthelectronix for the “best ever dance party before noon.“. This annual event is a fundraiser to benefit the work of Flywheel Arts Collective. Minimum suggested donation: $6/person. Start the new year with a New Year’s Day Music Dance Party. Save on the babysitter and dance away on the first morning of the new year! So much cheaper than a night out on the town and just as much fun! Flywheel Arts Collective. 413-527-9800. 43 Main St, Easthampton, MA.

Wednesday January 1, 9:30am & 12:30pm – GUIDED HIKE: Mount Greylock First Day Hikes. Each year, DCR hosts guided hikes on New Year’s Day, offering individuals and families a chance to enjoy healthy outdoor activities at our Massachusetts state parks. Join friends, neighbors and DCR State Park staff for a guided First Day Hike at Mount Greylock State Reservation. This program is free, open to the public and recommended for ages 7 and older .Hike an easy to moderate 1.8 miles (90 minutes) on the Bradley Farm Trail. Explore remnants of an old orchard, farmland, forest succession and perhaps see evidence of wildlife. Afterwards enjoy hot chocolate by the fireplace. Be prepared for cold weather: dress in layers and wear winter boots. If conditions permit, bring snowshoes and hiking poles. Dogs are welcome on a 10 foot maximum leash. Preregistration recommended by Dec 30. Mount Greylock Visitor Center. 413-499-4262. 30 Rockwell Road, Lanesborough, MA.

Wednesday, January 1, 10:30am- 12noon – GUIDED HIKE: Enjoy a woodland hike and get the New Year started on the right foot. Join DCR state park staff for a guided hike at Granville State Forest. Hike the Healthy Heart Trail route over old roads, trails, and hillsides. Take in scenic winter woodlands of pine and beech. Look for signs of wildlife. Pace and terrain are easy to moderate. Distance is approximately three-quarters of a mile total. Following, warm up in the woodstove-heated forest headquarters and enjoy the cheer of a warm beverage. Free and for all ages. Meet at the Granville State Forest Headquarters. Call the forest headquarters for last-minute updates. 413-357-6611. 323 West Hartland Road. Granville, MA.

Wednesday, January 1, 1-3pm – GUIDED HIKE: Enjoy a leisurely three-mile stroll down the Canalside Rail Trail and get the New Year started off on a Great Falls note. This family-friendly hike follows a gentle route. It provides an opportunity to discover the abundant natural, historical, and cultural features that make the Center and rail-trail such an amazing State Park! Be prepared for cold weather: dress in layers and wear winter boots. Dogs are welcome on leash. Afterward, enjoy a cup of hot chocolate in the Discovery Center’s Great Hall. Meet at 1 p.m. in Great Hall. Hike begins at 1:15 p.m. Great Falls Discovery Center. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA.


Thursday, January 2

SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING/BOTANICAL ILLUSTRATION: Taking a class with an artist that specializes in botanical illustration provides the scientific and artistic instruction needed to learn how to create botanical drawings. Botanical illustrations are not just limited to painting flowers, but also include sketching trees and other plant specimens. Not only is botanical illustration a creative outlet, but also a scientific one that lets you explore a plant species at an observational and focused level! The American Society of Botanical Illustrators provides different resources and tools to help students locate classes in their area or informational books on doing an individual study of botanical illustration. Gardens and wayside growing flowers offer an opportunity to engage with the landscape through art, literature, and community. Whether it’s botanical watercolors, illustrations, photography, or a relaxed visit to your local public garden, flowers blooming in a community support interests and connect residents to their public parks and the patterns of the seasons.


Friday, January 3

Friday, January 3, 9:30-10:30am – PreK/MUSIC & STORYTELLING: Community Music School of Springfield presents Little Notes, a fun and accessible event that includes elements of storytelling and exposure to a variety of instruments. This engaging community music experience is designed for children infant to 5 years and a caregiver. Register online. Storrs Library. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street, Longmeadow, MA.

Friday, January 3, 11am-3pm – AGRICULTURE/WINTER FARMERS’ MARKET: Downtown Springfield Winter Farmers’ Market. Winter farmers’ markets provide a fresh and colorful oasis during the winter months, reminding us that despite the blustery, snow drift-covered fields that surround us, farm-fresh foods of all kinds are still available. Connecting to the local food chain year-round is not only healthy for your body, your family, and your community, but it can be educational as well! Exposing children to the vast array of foods available from winter farmers’ markets can help them to recognize that there are many different methods for growing and producing food while connecting to where their food comes. 1391 Main Street, 1st Floor. Springfield, MA.

Friday, January 3, 11:30am-1:20pm – ICE SKATING: Are you a homeschool or unschooling family? The Mullins Center offers a weekday public ice skate for families to attend. Great opportunity for physical activity while making community connections. Ice skate rentals are free and guardian’s skates for free. All families are welcome. Mullins Center. 413-545-3040. 200 Commonwealth Ave. Amherst, MA.

Friday, January 3, 5-8:30pm – WINTER SPORTS/OUTFITTING: Amherst Historical Society Annual Ski Sale. Offering great discounts for the beginner skater to the expert skier, all in adult and youth sizes. Experts will be on hand to help with sizing and selection. Held at the Pacific (Masonic) Lodge. 99 Main Street. Amherst, MA.

Friday, January 3, 7:30pm-9:30pm – ASTRONOMY/STAR GAZING: An interest in studying astronomy can develop from an interest in mathematical calculation, or a simple appreciation for the beauty of the sky. Families can share their interest in astronomy with one another by attending a Stars Over Springfield night at the Springfield Museums. These programs are best suited for families with children ages 8 and older, however, younger children are also welcome. If it is cloudy, a planetarium show will be presented in place of telescope viewing.Springfield Museums. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA.


Saturday, January 4

Saturday, January 4, 9-10am – FAMILY RADIO: Hilltown Family Variety Show Expectations Episode with Guest DJs, Louis & Dan and the Invisible Band. Join Louis and Dan and the Invisible Band as they guest DJ this week’s episode of the HFVS where you’ll hear songs that, one way or another, are about meeting or defying expectations. You might not expect a whole radio show about expectations to be fun, but they promise: it will be! Click here select from over 13 years of archived shows! It’s better than Saturday morning cartoons and commercial radio! ♥ Hilltown Families eNewsletter subscribers are invited to an exclusive sneak peak every Thursday of the upcoming show. Check your eNewsletter to listen any time. Not a subscriber? Click here to subscribe to our free Weekly eNewsletter!

Saturday, January 4, 9am-1pm – WOMEN’S SELF-DEFENSE: Self-Defense R.A.D. Course. The West Springfield Park & Recreation Department, along with the West Springfield Police Department, is offering women ages 13+, an introduction to basic self-defense skills, escape and avoidance strategies, offensive and defensive postures, defensive techniques, and simulated attacks. The course runs for three weeks and includes an exploration of violence prevention and victim abuse community service in accordance with the national standard. Course Instructor is Police Sergeant Robert Wise. (It is recommended that women under the age of 16 are signed up with an adult.) West Springfield Adult Education Center—ANNEX. 357 Piper Road. West Springfield, MA.

Saturday, January 4, 9am-1:30pm- WINTER SPORTS/OUTFITTING: Amherst Historical Society Annual Ski Sale. Offering great discounts for the beginner skater to the expert skier, all in adult and youth sizes. Experts will be on hand to help with sizing and selection. Held at the Pacific (Masonic) Lodge. 99 Main Street. Amherst, MA.

Saturday, January 4, 10-11:30am – ART STUDIES/CHINESE PAINTING: Lifelong learners and self-directed teens can try their hand at two classic Chinese painting subjects: Pandas and bamboo! Ashley Yang Liu will teach an introductory-level class. Participants will learn to use Chinese painting pigments and rice paper to create a beautiful bamboo forest scene. No experience necessary. Preregister. Artspace Community Arts Center. 413-772-6811. 15 Mill St., Greenfield, MA.

Saturday, January 4, 10:30am-12noon – STEM/LEGOs: LEGO / Construction Club. Drop-in to the Meekins Library to build with LEGO, Duplo, or Keva blocks. All are welcome. An adult should accompany children ages five and under. Meekins Library. 413-268-7472. 2 Williams St, Williamsburg, MA.

Saturday, January 4, 2-5pm – FIBER ARTS/NEEDLE FELTING: 2D Needle Felting: Learn to make 2D images using roving and felting needles. Participants will press wool into fabric to make 2D images that will softly adorn our clothing and walls. All materials provided, but feel free to bring a sweater or soft surface of your own. Workshop best for ages 10+. Preregister. Looky Here. 413-325-8232. 28 Chapman St. Greenfield, MA.

Saturday, January 4, 2:15-4pm – WINTER SPORTS/ICE SKATING: Learn to Skate, hosted by Springfield Police Department at Cyr Arena in Forest Park. This annual Learn to Skate l program returns with Springfield Police Officers and volunteers teaching kids how to ice skate. This very popular program is free and open to all children, not just Springfield residents. Bring a hockey or bike helmet, jacket, and gloves. Skates are provided if you need them. Cyr Arena Skating Rink. 413-787-6438. 200 Trafton Rd, Springfield, MA.


Sunday, January 5

Sunday, January 5, 7-8am – FAMILY RADIO: Hilltown Family Variety Show Expectations Episode with Guest DJs, Louis & Dan and the Invisible Band. Join Louis and Dan and the Invisible Band as they guest DJ this week’s episode of the HFVS where you’ll hear songs that, one way or another, are about meeting or defying expectations. You might not expect a whole radio show about expectations to be fun, but they promise: it will be! Click here select from over 13 years of archived shows! It’s better than Saturday morning cartoons and commercial radio! ♥ Hilltown Families eNewsletter subscribers are invited to an exclusive sneak peak every Thursday of the upcoming show. Check your eNewsletter to listen any time. Not a subscriber? Click here to subscribe to our free Weekly eNewsletter!

Sunday, January 5, 12:15-2:15pm – SPORTS/SCUBA DIVING: Scuba Experience at the YMCA. Here’s your chance to discover the wonders of scuba diving! NAUI certified instructor Dave MacDonald will teach a one day class showing diving techniques, equipment usage, and more. Bring a bathing suit and towel — ages 8 and over. YMCA in Greenfield. 413-773-3646. 451 Main St, Greenfield, MA.

Sunday, January 5, 2pm – CAROLS/SING ALONG: The Polish Heritage Committee of Northampton is sponsoring a Polish Christmas Carol Sing Along. All friends of Polonia are cordially invited to attend. Singers will lead the carols from area church choirs. An afternoon of music and fellowship is sure to be enjoyed by all. St. Valentine’s Church. 413-584-4531. 127 King Street. Northampton, MA.

Sunday, January 5, 5:30-7:30pm – MUSIC STUDIES/YOUTH ORCHESTRA AUDITIONS: Do you know children who are talented instrumentalists? Are they motivated to practice and make music with other young musicians? The Pioneer Valley Symphony Youth Orchestra offers a dynamic & supportive ensemble environment for talented musicians in middle & high school. Directed by Steven Bathory-Peeler, PVSYO performs in 2 standalone concerts and also collaborates with the Pioneer Valley Symphony Orchestra. Chamber ensemble opportunities are also offered. The PVSYO rehearses at Greenfield High School on Sundays from 5:30-7:30 during the school year. Auditions for all instruments (except trumpet & clarinet) will be held in Greenfield on Jan 5, 2020, 5:30-7:30. To learn more or register for an audition, visit www.pvsoc.org/youth-orchestra.


Monday, January 6

Monday, January 6 – THREE KING’S DAY: In the United States, Christmas is celebrated on December 25th, bringing with it gifts for everyone! In some cultures, however, gifts aren’t given to children until January 6th, the date on which Three King’s Day is celebrated. A major holiday in Spanish-speaking cultures, Three King’s Day (or El Dia de Reyes) is the celebration of the arrival of the biblical kings to Jerusalem – bringing with them gifts for the newly-born baby Jesus. According to the Christian calendar, January 6th is the Epiphany and, coincidentally, it is also the twelfth day of Christmas. In Spain, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and many other countries (as well as in some communities here in western Massachusetts), children receive their Christmas gifts on Three King’s Day, just as Jesus received gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh on that date in the Bible. Read more about El Dia De Reyes in our post, Three King’s Day Offers Multi-Cultural Learning.

Monday, January 6, 3:15-4:15pm – CRITICAL THINKING/CHESS: Research shows that, when played from a young age, chess can be beneficial to a child’s learning and development. The game requires the use of high-order thinking skills, such as weighing actions and consequences and helps players practice decision making. The Storrs Library offers a Youth Chess where children of all ages and skill levels are welcome to a drop-in game of chess. An instructor will provide help for beginners and tips for more advanced students to sharpen their game. Registration is not required. Storrs Library. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street, Longmeadow, MA.

Monday, January 6, 3:15-5:15pm – SEWING/SUSTAINABILITY: Due to ocean currents, a massive pile of plastic debris has been forming in the Pacific Ocean. First discovered in the late 1980s, it is currently speculated that this mound of garbage is anywhere from the size of the state of Texas to the size of Russia. As plastic is tough to breakdown, the garbage patch continues to grow and wreak havoc on the ocean ecosystem. Unlike organic material, as plastic ages, it simply reduces to the molecular level but never disappears. As it gets smaller and smaller, plastic particles become ingested by marine wildlife. But the indirect effects are even more serious. On the microscopic level, the sheer amount of plastic molecules in the ocean is changing the chemical makeup of the water and spreading toxic pollution all over the world. Do your part to reduce the amount of plastic in the ocean by volunteering to make durable, reusable shopping bags for members of the community to use instead of plastic bags. Join folks at the Williamsburg Senior Cafe for an intergenerational bag sew group on the 1st & 3rd Monday of the month, in partnership with The Bag Share Project. Williamsburg Senior Center. 413-268-8407. 141 Main St, Williamsburg, MA.

Monday, January 6, 4:30-6pm – SPORTS/FENCING: Fencing, the modern form of swordsmanship, is a fun and challenging sport which can spark an interest in the history of swords and swordsmanship while providing many physical whole body benefits (i.e., increased coordination and cardiovascular endurance). Learn about this ancient sport with the West Springfield Park and Recreation, WSPR is offering Fencing Classes, instructed by Taro Yamashita, coach at Riverside Fencing Club. Preregister for this 6-week class, which starts 1/6. (Sign up by 1/2.) Best for ages 10 to 16. UNICO building, located in Mittineague Park. 413-263-3284. 1 Unico Way. West Springfield, MA.

Monday, January 6 – SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING/FENCING: Fencing is believed to have originated in Spain with the modern mechanics originating in Italy in the 18th century. Fencing is one of five sports that have been featured in every single Olympics (along with running, cycling, swimming, and gymnastics). In this video, these Olympians teach a bit about the basics of this exciting sport:

https://youtu.be/a8IdfA5fXJs


Tuesday, January 7

Tuesday, January 7, 4-5:30pm – ART STUDIES/NATURE: . Taking inspiration from form and patterns in animals, plants, insects, and bones in this 8-week class, “Plants, Knees, Stones, and Bees,” participants will use their hands, feet, knees, as well as more traditional art materials and techniques, to make their own incredible two- and three-dimensional art. They will look at the work of artists influenced by nature, such as Andy Goldsworthy, Henry Moore, and Georgia O’Keefe, then use paint, wire, charcoal, wool fleece, clay, pencil, and natural materials to explore and make their own art. Ages 7-10 Preregister for this 8-week class. Artspace Community Arts Center. 413-772-6811. 15 Mill St., Greenfield, MA.


Wednesday, January 8

Wednesday, January 8, 9:30-10:30am – STORY HOUR/DINOSAURS: Do you know why dinosaurs aren’t fuzzy? Meet the author, Taylor Buckholz, and listen to him read his story, Why Aren’t Dinosaurs Fuzzy? Come for the storytime and stay for a fun craft. Preregister. All ages. Storrs Library. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street, Longmeadow, MA.

Wednesday, January 8, 10am – MINDFULNESS : Mountain Mindfulness at Greylock! Start your day off with an opportunity to relax and rejuvenate, or stretch your muscles and your mind, while exploring healthy mind-body techniques such as various meditations, breathing exercises, yoga, or dance. Classes may last from 20-90 minutes, taught by local certified teachers, as well as Mount Greylock staff! Beginners welcome. No previous experience is necessary. Meet at the Visitor Center. Please dress warmly, some programs, such as walking meditations, may be held outdoors, weather permitting. This program is free and open to all ages. An adult must accompany children. Mount Greylock Visitor Center. 413-499-4262. 30 Rockwell Road, Lanesborough, MA.

Wednesday, January 8, 10am-2pm – NEW ENGLAND HISTORY: Explore New England History during Cozy Winter Wednesdays in the History Workshop Building at Historic Deerfield. Drop-in program; children must be accompanied by an adult. Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, MA.

Wednesday, January 8, 3pm – MEDIA LITERACY/TEENS: Media and Recording Studio Sessions for Youth. Holyoke Media invites all youth to join the Media Literacy Studio Sessions for Youth at the Library, dedicated to creating media projects such as podcasts, videos, and music. Every Wednesday, the Library’s Teen Room is transformed into a recording and filming studio for the creation of media projects. No experience required. All youth are welcome. Holyoke Public Library. 413-420-8101. 250 Chestnut Street. Holyoke, MA.

Wednesday, January 8, 6pm – PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT/BOOK CLUB: Books & Brew – Book Group. Cure your mid-week blues with a lively book discussion and some brew with the Springfield City Library at Nathan Bill’s Bar and Restaurant. Library copies of each month’s book are available for checkout at the East Forest Park Branch. Nathan Bill’s Bar &Restaurant. 110 Island Pond Rd. Springfield, MA.

Wednesday, January 8, 6-7:30pm – MINDFULNESS/TEENS: Teens are invited to Storrs Library on to learn about mindfulness and how the mind works. Participants will be introduced to a mindfulness sitting practice, walking meditation, and deep relaxation. Bring a small blanket to use during relaxation and a yoga mat. Participants are encouraged to dress comfortably. Preregister. Storrs Library. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street, Longmeadow, MA.

Wednesday, January 8, 6:30-8:30pm – LANGUAGE ARTS/ZINES: As countercultural philosopher Alan Watts said in 1967: “Our educational system, in its entirety, does nothing to give us any kind of material competence. In other words, we don’t learn how to cook, how to make clothes, how to build houses […], or to do any of the absolutely fundamental things of life. The whole education that we get for our children in school is entirely in terms of abstractions. It trains you to be an insurance salesman or a bureaucrat, or some kind of cerebral character.” The DIY, or Do it Yourself movement, seeks to address this lack of practical skills in education by encouraging people to learn how to build, modify, and create without professional expertise. Zines are a perfect example of the DIY ethos. The Forbes Library Zine Club is the perfect place to get together with others and write, draw, and collaborate! Forbes Library. 413-587-1011. 20 West St, Northampton, MA.


Thursday, January 9

Thursday, January 9, 11am-12:30pm – MUSIC STUDIES/AUSTRIAN: Music in Austria from the Middle Ages to Wiener Moderne with Rob Humberston. Rob will offer a survey of Austrian music and musicians beginning with monastic traditions from the Eighth Century, the Court of Maximilian I in the Fifteenth Century, and Baroque masterpieces to a variety of many genres from the Classical and Romantic Era giants Mozart and Schubert. Interspersed with a variety of sacred, instrumental and orchestral works will be music from Austrian folk traditions, leading to the Twentieth Century monuments of the Strauss Family and Gustav Mahler which indelibly etched our vision of this beautiful country. Rob’s eclectic recording collection features performers from Austria and its former empire whose immersion in the culture ensures idiomatic expression of the highest standard. Preregister. Storrs Library. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street, Longmeadow, MA.

Thursday, January 9, 2-4pm – CIVICS/VOTING: League of Women Voters at Berkshire Museum. Get a lesson in civics as you submit or update your voter registration, learn the structure of government in Berkshire County, discover how laws are made, and more with the Central Berkshire Chapter of the League of Women Voters. Berkshire Museum. 413-443-7171. 39 South St, Pittsfield, MA.

Thursday, January 9, 3:15-4pm – ORIGAMI/CHINESE NEW YEAR: Chinese New Year Origami. Celebrate the Chinese New Year at Storrs Library, where their local origami expert will be teaching how to make a mouse from origami paper to celebrate the New Year. Friends under seven will need help from a caregiver. Preregister. Storrs Library. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street, Longmeadow, MA.

Thursday January 9, 3:30-4:30pm – CHESS CLUB: According to an ancient story, the emperor of Persia, who loved games, invited his subjects to develop the perfect game. The first game was checkers. The emperor enjoyed the game but observed that it relied too much on luck and involved too little skill and was thus not realistic. The next game was chess. The emperor once again celebrated the ingenuity of the game but complained that the game relied too much on skill and too little luck and was thus, also not true to life. The final game was backgammon, which the emperor declared the perfect game due to its perfect balance of luck and skill. Whether or not one agrees with the emperor’s assessment that chess involves no luck, we can all agree that a better game of skill can scarcely be found. Few games have inspired so much thought and study over the centuries. If you would like to learn to play chess, learn to play with Andy Morris-Friedman. This free drop in the chess club is a great intergenerational opportunity for beginners. Register to reserve your seat. Holyoke Public Library. 413-420-8101. 250 Chestnut Street. Holyoke, MA.

Thursday, January 9, 3:30-4:30pm – STEM/CODING: Girls Who Code Club. Interested in honing your coding skills? Whether you have zero computer science experience or you’re a confident coder, youth ages 11-18 are invited to join the Girls Who Code Club. In this 15-week program, you will be able to learn from fun and simple online coding tutorials (ranging from beginner to advanced and covering Scratch, Python, JavaScript, and Thunkable), build community through interactive activities and learn about inspiring women in tech. Throughout the course of the club, fellow club members will work as a team to design and build a culminating project that addresses a real-world problem in which participants are concerned! This club is open to all youth ages 11-18, regardless of gender identity. Preregister. Storrs Library. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street, Longmeadow, MA.

Thursday, January 9, 4-5:30pm – ART STUDIES/POTTERY: Kids’ Clay Studio. Real clay from the ground is squishy, slippery, and so much fun! Learn about where clay comes from and what it can do. Participants will create their own artwork, from sculpture to dinnerware, using coil, pinch and slab hand-building techniques, and then finish it with colorful slip (liquid colored clay) and glaze. Ages 6-9. Preregister for this 8-week class. Artspace Community Arts Center. 413-772-6811. 15 Mill St., Greenfield, MA.


Friday, January 10

Friday, January 10, 11:30am-1:20pm – ICE SKATING: Are you a homeschool or unschooling family? The Mullins Center offers a weekday public ice skate for families to attend. Great opportunity for physical activity while making community connections. Ice skate rentals are free and guardian’s skates for free. All families are welcome. Mullins Center. 413-545-3040. 200 Commonwealth Ave. Amherst, MA.

Friday, January 10, 4-7pm – ART STUDIES/MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Free Second Fridays at the Smith College Museum of Art gives visitors a special opportunity to explore the collections and engage with art on a deeper level. Create your own work of art, with hands on activities for all ages based on specific works in the museum and go on a special guided conversation tour. Light refreshments. Smith College Museum of Art. 413-585-2760. 20 Elm Street at Bedford Terrace. Northampton, MA.

Friday, January 10, 6-8pm – LITERARY ARTS/ZINES: Mini Zine Workshop. Zines are a fun, fast, and affordable way to self-publish your art and connect with others. By the end of this workshop, participants will have their own mini-zine ready to be copied and distributed. Workshop13. 413-277-6072. 13 Church Street, Ware, MA.


Hilltown Families’ list of Suggested Events is supported in part by grants from the Buckland, Hadley, and Plainfield Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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