100+ Suggested Events in Western MA: January 4-17, 2020

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Bulletin Board

Jan 18

All ages are invited to the Smith College Museum of Art’s Free Community Day, celebrating the opening of Black Refractions: Highlights from the Studio Museum in Harlem, Saturday, January 18 from 11:30am-3:30pm. The day’s events include: Conversations about art with Springfield youth from Project Coach; Drop-in art-making workshop with Wee The People; Performance by Smith College Campus School Chorus; Flipbook photo booth; Food provided by Veganish Foodies. Plan to spend your day at SCMA! Check out their schedule online. Smith College Museum of Art. 413-585-2760. 20 Elm Street at Bedford Terrace. Northampton, 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.

The Maple Hill Play Garden in Amherst, MA. The Maple Hill Play Garden offers an alternative early childhood program that nurtures the joy and wonder of a simple childhood. Amanda M. Lugo, M.A.Ed., provides a warm, nourishing, inclusive, home-like environment in which play is the heart of the child’s morning. She offers a nature-based program with toys made from natural materials and abundant time outdoors. The program cultivates a gentle and consistent daily rhythm that helps to ground children in a sense of place, all within in a socially conscious environment. Hot, wholesome, organic meals and snacks are provided. The Maple Hill Play Garden serves children ages 14 months – 3 ½+ years. Learn more at www.MapleHillPlayGarden.com. Contact Amanda at 978-500-3070 or NourishingChildhood@gmail.com.

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.

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
January 4-17, 2020

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

Saturday, Jan 11Sunday, Jan 12
Monday, Jan 13Tuesday, Jan 14Wednesday, Jan 15
Thursday, Jan 16Friday, Jan 17

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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, 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, 10am-12noon – STEM/COMPUTER LAB: Come to the Lab and work on a Scratch project with some friends, try Virtual Reality with the Oculus Quest, make your own 3D models, get some help learning HTML, Javascript, Python, or another programming language, learn how to create your own Roblox games, write mobile apps, make things with Arduino or Micro:bit, or bring something you’ve been working that you’d like to share. You can learn to create your own robots. Experiment with different methods for designing, building, and coding robots with LEGO EV3 MINDSTORMS kits. There will be options to design robots for speed, navigating terrain, incorporating sensors, and other challenges. Or try WeDo robotics, integrating motors and sensors with LEGO pieces, creating alligators that snap at your fingers, monkeys that play drums. Or something you imagine! If you’ve never tried programming or robotics before, you’ll find help to get you started. If you’re an experienced maker, come share your ideas with others. This will be an unstructured opportunity for you to come explore, play with things, ask questions, and meet people. All ages are welcome. You can include a comment with anything you are particularly interested in doing at the Lab. Holyoke Codes. Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center. 100 Bigelow St, Holyoke, 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, 12:30-1:30pm – MARINE BIOLOGY: Ever wonder what fish, turtles, and lizards eat when they live in aquariums? How do human beings determine what to feed these creatures, who have evolved over millions of years to hunt for food in the wild? And who actually prepares the food for these animals? All these questions and more will be addressed during Chow Time at the Berkshire Museum, where participants can assist museum staff in preparing meals for some of the inhabitants of the aquarium. Berkshire Museum. 413-443-7171. 39 South St, Pittsfield, MA.

Saturday, January 4, 1-3:30pm – WINTER FITNESS: Whether you’re wearing snowshoes, micro-spikes, or winter walking shoes, kick-off the new year with an afternoon of fresh air, exercise, and camaraderie. Trekking pass frozen streams and rocky ledges, explore Northfield Mountain’s scenic trails with brief stops along the way to showcase seasonal highlights. After warming up on the hilly terrain, toast to a healthy and fitness with hot drinks by their pellet stove. Wear warm, waterproof footwear and dress in layers that can easily be removed. Footwear will be dependent on snow and trail conditions, and snowshoes or micro-spikes (available to borrow) may be required. Distance traveled will be between 2-4 miles with an elevation gain of approximately 400 feet. Primarily for adults, children 12 and over are welcome. Free event with snowshoe rentals available. Preregister. Northfield Mountain. 413-659-3714. 99 Millers Falls Road, RT 63, Northfield, MA.

Saturday, January 4, 1:30pm – FOOD TOUR/COFFEE SHOPS: Coffee Shop Food Tour. Do you love coffee shops? Love knowing the sourcing behind a spot’s tea leaves or coffee beans? Want to sit in the most comfortable places with the best people-watching? Curious to try new and interesting coffees and teas? On this food tour, participants will: Explore Northampton’s vibrant coffee shops; Taste new coffee and tea brewing techniques from nitro-brewed tea to blue pea powder; and eat at yummy tea-infused treats. Sample some of the city’s most delicious coffee shop beverages and treats, learn about the rich history of the area, and hear about what’s going on today. Organized by Off The Beaten Path Food Tours. Northampton, 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.

Saturday, January 4, 4-5:30pm – PHYSICS/YOYO SCHOOL: Learn the art of modern yoyo at the A2Z Science & Learning Store in downtown Northampton! Professional yoyo players teach FREE classes 3 days a week in the back of the store. Start by learning the basics with classic tricks like “Rock the Baby” or “Around the World” and then get ready to take it to the next level with modern yo-yos that feature ball bearings for long spin time and truly next level string tricks that will amaze! Great for ages 7 and up. No advanced sign up is required. (Great for parent and child to do together!) YoYo School happens every Tues, Fri, & Sat, 4:30-5:30pm. A2Z Science & Learning Store. 413-586-1611. 57 King St, Northampton, 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, 10am-4pm – BOTANY: The Durfee Conservatory, located on the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus and established in 1867, has a rich history. Tucked away in a hustling and bustling campus of over 25,000 students, this greenhouse complex is a sanctuary of calm and serenity. Greenhouses include Bonsai-Camellia, Epiphyte/Vine, Tropical, and Succulents. Durfee Conservatory. 413-545-5234. 210 Stockbridge Road. Amherst, MA.

Sunday, January 5, 12-4pm – ART STUDIES/AFRICAN ART: Art Exhibit: ObjectHistories: From the African Continent to the Smith College Museum of Art Galleries.This special installation, drawn from the SCMA collection, traces the unique histories of over twenty of the Museum’s most important works of African art. New research has connected artists with objects that were previously unattributed, while the roles of collectors and donors are examined in conjunction with the objects’ own cultural histories and meanings. The Smith College Museum of Art began collecting African art in 1939, with the acquisition of a ceremonial axe made by the Luba people in the present-day Democratic Republic of the Congo. Since then, the collection has grown to over two hundred pieces of sculpture, textile, painting, photography and video. Dating primarily to the 20th and 21st centuries, the collection continues to expand in the areas of photography, mixed media and video as well as sculptural objects. Smith College Museum of Art. 413-585-2760. 20 Elm Street at Bedford Terrace. Northampton, MA.

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, 1-4pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: At The Clark, join a gallery talk at exhibition Travels on Paper or traverse the cosmos in the Family Room by making a constellation map. View the Academy Award-nominated animated film Song of the Sea for an enchanting journey through the landscapes of Irish folklore. Invent an imaginary landmark to add to a fantasy map or create a travel journal and bag tag to use on your next adventure. All activities and admission to the galleries are free as part of the Clark’s First Sundays Free program. Clark Art Institute. 413-458-2303. 225 South St, Williamstown, 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, 10-11am – HEALTH/QI GONG: Qi Gong literally translates to “life energy cultivation.” This unique practice resembles tai chi, in its mixture of relaxed, slow moving poses, breath work. Qi Gong can be seen as a form of meditation, self healing, even self defense. Originating in ancient Chinese daoist exercises, Qi Gong is now practiced by millions in China and around the world and is the subject of numerous medical research trials, investigating the impact of Qi Gong on pain, hypertension, even cancer. Practitioners of all levels are invited to attend this weekly community practice of Qi Gong. Sunderland Public Library. 20 School Street, Sunderland, MA.

Monday, January 6, 11am – STORYTIME/INFANT: Read books, sing songs, play with puppets and toys, and meet other babies and caregivers at the library. The first 20 minutes are storytime, followed by 40 minutes of free play with toys. For ages 0-18 months. Forbes Library. 413-587-1011. 20 West St, Northampton, MA.

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, 4:30pm – LANGUAGE ARTS/WORD GAMES: It is speculated that the highest possible scoring word in Scrabble has probably never been successfully played. If situated correctly, the word “OXYPHENBUTAZONE,” could theoretically score 1778 points! A far more realistic, and still highly effective word, is “ZA,” a recognized slang term for pizza, which can still get you 60 points or so. If you love Scrabble, joining the Scrabble Club for a monthly meet-up and game of Scrabble! Open to everyone, fun is the primary goal. Lily Library. 413-587-1500.19 Meadow Street, Florence, 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:

Monday, January 6, 5-7:30pm – COMMUNITY MEAL/FUNDRAISER: Soup and Games Night. Hope & Olive Restaurant. 413-774-3150. 44 Hope St, Greenfield, MA.

Monday, January 6, 6:30-8pm – PARENTING SUPPORT/ADHD: Northampton Area Pediatrics host a monthly Valley ADHD Parent Support Group. Join other area parents and caregivers to: Receive ADHD information and support; Be heard without being judged; Hear how others cope with similar issues and challenges; Learn about local resources for families; Hear from area specialists on pertinent topics; Learn new strategies to try at home; Leave feeling empowered and hopeful. Light refreshments will be available. ValleyADHDfamilies@gmail.com. Northampton Area Pediatrics. 413-584-8700193. Locust St., Northampton, MA


Tuesday, January 7

<Tuesday, January 7, Sunrise-Sunset – HISTORY WALK/SELF-DIRECTED: Have you ever walked, biked, or driven through downtown Holyoke and wondered about the history of the city’s numerous old buildings? Each empty mill, towering church, and brick rowhouse tells a story of the city’s past. An exploration of Holyoke’s history reveals a vibrant, diverse, and complicated history. Visitors to Holyoke can now learn about the city’s history themselves – from home or while exploring the city’s streets thanks to the Wistariahurst Museum. The Museum hosts a large online community resource to its repertoire- the Holyoke History Walk, available on the museum’s website, offering a comparative look at the city and many of its streets and buildings as they once were (up to 125 years ago). The program uses Google Maps and provides a map – created by piecing together numerous maps from the museum’s archives – of Holyoke past, layered above a map of Holyoke present. Scattered across the map are over 100 of the city’s landmarks – churches, civic buildings, prominent businesses, and views across the canal, from hilltops, and down various streets in the busiest parts of town. The old photos are shown next to a current image of the location. In some cases, the buildings are unrecognizable; in others, entire blocks are boarded up; meanwhile, some others remain relatively unchanged. Families can use the interactive tour to learn all about local history and can apply what they learn about the city to bring context and more in-depth understanding to American history and changes in industries, technology, and the American way of life. Holyoke, MA.

Tuesday, January 7, 10-10:45am – STORYTIME/CREATIVE FREE PLAY: New England lore holds that the character of Mother Goose was actually based on a 17th century Bostonian woman, who became famous for singing songs and telling stories to children in her neighborhood. Unfortunately there is no evidence that this is true and the first occurrence of the name “Mother Goose,” appears in a volume of collected fairy tales from 1780, entitled Mother Goose’s Melody. Join Kay Lyons for her popular “Mother Goose on the Loose” series of lap-sit story hours for children under 3. This event will also feature games, puppets, and other toys for children to play with. Greenfield Public Library. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street, Greenfield, MA.

Tuesday, January 7, 10am-4pm – BOTANY: The Durfee Conservatory, located on the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus and established in 1867, has a rich history. Tucked away in a hustling and bustling campus of over 25,000 students, this greenhouse complex is a sanctuary of calm and serenity. Greenhouses include Bonsai-Camellia, Epiphyte/Vine, Tropical, and Succulents. Durfee Conservatory. 413-545-5234. 210 Stockbridge Road. Amherst, MA.

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.

Tuesday, January 7, 4-5:30pm – PHYSICS/YOYO SCHOOL: Learn the art of modern yoyo at the A2Z Science & Learning Store in downtown Northampton! Professional yoyo players teach FREE classes 3 days a week in the back of the store. Start by learning the basics with classic tricks like “Rock the Baby” or “Around the World” and then get ready to take it to the next level with modern yo-yos that feature ball bearings for long spin time and truly next level string tricks that will amaze! Great for ages 7 and up. No advanced sign up is required. (Great for parent and child to do together!) YoYo School happens every Tues, Fri, & Sat, 4:30-5:30pm. A2Z Science & Learning Store. 413-586-1611. 57 King St, Northampton, 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/MOVEMENT: 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.

Wednesday, January 8, 7-8pm – ICHTHYOLOGY/SEA LAMPREY: Sea Lamprey: Hero of our Rivers and Vampire of the Sea. Enjoy an evening focused on the intriguing and bizarre-looking sea lamprey. With a life history that includes years in our freshwater rivers and epic migrations to and from the sea, the lamprey is one of the most unusual residents of the Millers River. Join Kim Noyes for an illustrated introduction to one of the region’s local migratory fish. Friend or foe depending on where you live, lamprey provides amazing ecological benefits to New England freshwater streams. Kim is the Education Coordinator at Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center and the Turners Falls Fishway. Free; No registration is required. Millers River Environmental Center. 978-248-9491. 100 Main Street. Athol, 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.

Thursday, January 9, 4-6pm – CREATIVE FREE-PLAY/LEGOs: LEGOs are much more than small pieces of plastic that clutter up your living room floor and smart something awful when stepped upon with your bare feet… they are a great creative medium for kids interested in design and architecture and can help them develop their own creative stories based on characters and structures that they build. Kids ages 12 and under can have fun while constructing with LEGOs at the Gaylord Memorial Library. 413-538-5047. 47 College Street. South Hadley, 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, 4-5:30pm – PHYSICS/YOYO SCHOOL: Learn the art of modern yoyo at the A2Z Science & Learning Store in downtown Northampton! Professional yoyo players teach FREE classes 3 days a week in the back of the store. Start by learning the basics with classic tricks like “Rock the Baby” or “Around the World” and then get ready to take it to the next level with modern yo-yos that feature ball bearings for long spin time and truly next level string tricks that will amaze! Great for ages 7 and up. No advanced sign up is required. (Great for parent and child to do together!) YoYo School happens every Tues, Fri, & Sat, 4:30-5:30pm. A2Z Science & Learning Store. 413-586-1611. 57 King St, Northampton, MA.

Friday, January 10, 6pm – ART STUDIES/FIGURE DRAWING: Are you a lifelong learner looking to sharpen your skills as an artist? Figure drawing gets right down to the fundamentals of art. Figure Drawing Fridays has a nice little studio close to downtown Northampton and opens every Friday night at 6 (drawing at 6:30) for three hours of arty fun in an open and light atmosphere. There will be music playing, people chatting and of course, sketching and painting (no oils please). BYOB and bring your own media. Model and easels provided. RSVP is requested if you want an easel as space is limited. There is NO INSTRUCTOR (except for special nights) at this event although plenty of friendly peer review. 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.


Saturday, January 11

Saturday, January 11, 9-10am – FAMILY RADIO: Story Song Episode with Guest DJ, Dana Cohenour. Who doesn’t love a good story? This episode of the HFVS is chock full of funny, silly stories set to upbeat music. Guest DJ, Dana has put together some of her favorite story songs from her own recordings and those of her favorite singing storytellers. 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 11, 9am-3pm – ENTOMOLOGY/BEE KEEPING: Hampden County Beekeepers Association Bee School. This beginning bee school program will cover everything an aspiring beekeeper would need to know to start beekeeping on a hobbyist level. Three sessions happen this winter with the first one on 1/11. Best for lifelong learners and self-directed teens. Preregister. beeschool@hcbee.org. Held at Longmeadow High School – Auditorium. 95 Grassy Gutter Rd. Longmeadow, MA.

Saturday, January 11, 10-11:30am –HANDWRITING/CHINESE CALLIGRAPHY: Intro to Chinese Calligraphy for lifelong learners and self-directed teens. Experience the serene and classical art of Chinese calligraphy. Developed over the millennia by countless masters in ancient China, participants will have the opportunity to try their hand at this traditional art. Ashley Yang Liu will guide folks through character in regular Kaishu script. No experience necessary. Preregister. Artspace Community Arts Center. 413-772-6811. 15 Mill St., Greenfield, MA.

Saturday, January 11, 10am-12noon – STEM/CODING:Learn to Code with Scratch. Using Scratch, program your own interactive stories, games, and animations — and share your creations with others in the incredible worldwide Scratch online community. All levels of Scratch experience are welcome to attend. Ages 8+. Holyoke Codes. Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center. 100 Bigelow St, Holyoke, MA.

Saturday, January 11, 10am-12noon – OPEN HOUSE/EDUCATION: The Common School: Community, collaboration, inclusivity, social justice, environmental education. Learn how these words are put into action at their winter Open House. 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. The Common School. 413-256-8989. 521 S Pleasant St., Amherst, MA.

Saturday, January 11, 10am – OPEN HOUSE/EDUCATION: 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 visit online. Four Rivers Charter Public School. 413-775-4577. 248 Colrain Rd, Greenfield, MA.

Saturday, January 11, 10am-12noon – ZOOLOGY/NATIVE WILDLIFE: Winter Wildlife with Mass Audubon. Winter is upon us, and we humans adapt by wearing warm clothing and turning up our heat indoors. But what about wild animals? How do they survive the cold temperatures, snow, and ice? Learn the strategies that some of our native wildlife utilize. Each family will make a “jello critter,” insulate it, and hide it outside, to see if it survives or freezes! Conclude by warming up with a cup of hot chocolate. Preregister. Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-584-3009. 127 Combs Rd, Easthampton, MA.

Saturday, January 11, 10am-12noon – NATURE PHOTOGRAPHY: Greylock Photography Group Meet-Up: White Birches in Winter. This newly formed meet-up group is for everyone who loves nature and Mount Greylock and would love more opportunities to photograph the natural beauty of this majestic mountain. On this outing, meet at the Gould Trailhead parking lot on West Mountain Road in Adams and walk along the trails through extensive, picturesque white (paper) birch tree groves on the East side of the mountain, with stunning views up to the Summit. NOTE: Trails may be snow-covered or icy. Please dress appropriately for the weather and bring along your camera or your cell-phone. All interest and skill levels are welcome. 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.

Saturday, January 11, 10:30am-12noon – STEAM: STEAMCraft: Salt! Drop-in to the Meekins Library to experiment with table salt, or make a colorful salt painting. A variety of crafts will be available, recommended for ages three and up. Meekins Library. 413-268-7472. 2 Williams St, Williamsburg, MA.

Saturday, January 11, 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, January 11, 2:30-4pm – LIVING HISTORY/WOMEN’S HISTORY: Visitors to the Berkshire Museum will travel from farm life to the mid-century office and learn the power of raising their voices as they explore the extraordinary stories of the many women featured in She Shapes History. Learn how to spin wool, weave yarn, and design an effective protest poster. Berkshire Museum. 413-443-7171. 39 South St, Pittsfield, MA.

Saturday, January 11, 3-5pm – ART STUDIES/POTTERY: Kids can make a glowing snowman in the pottery studio during a Kids Hand Building Workshop at Workshop13. 413-277-6072. 13 Church Street, Ware, MA.

Saturday, January 11, 4-5:30pm – PHYSICS/YOYO SCHOOL: Learn the art of modern yoyo at the A2Z Science & Learning Store in downtown Northampton! Professional yoyo players teach FREE classes 3 days a week in the back of the store. Start by learning the basics with classic tricks like “Rock the Baby” or “Around the World” and then get ready to take it to the next level with modern yo-yos that feature ball bearings for long spin time and truly next level string tricks that will amaze! Great for ages 7 and up. No advanced sign up is required. (Great for parent and child to do together!) YoYo School happens every Tues, Fri, & Sat, 4:30-5:30pm. A2Z Science & Learning Store. 413-586-1611. 57 King St, Northampton, MA.

Saturday, January 11, 7-8:30pm – LOCAL HISTORY/BOOKSELLING: Making Books on Main Street: A History of Books in Northampton. Historic Northampton trustee Barbara B. Blumenthal will tell the story of publishers, printers, and binders in Northampton from the 18th century to the present. She will concentrate on 18th-19th century bookseller Simeon Butler and his successors; The Hampshire Bookshop (in Northampton 1916-1971); and the ongoing legacy of book arts in the Connecticut River Valley. Historic Northampton. 413-584-6011. 46 Bridge Street. Northampton, MA.


Sunday, January 12

Sunday, January 12, 7-8am – FAMILY RADIO: Story Song Episode with Guest DJ, Dana Cohenour. Who doesn’t love a good story? This episode of the HFVS is chock full of funny, silly stories set to upbeat music. Guest DJ, Dana has put together some of her favorite story songs from her own recordings and those of her favorite singing storytellers. 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 12, 10am-4pm – MEDICINE/HERBALISM: Spice Rack Medicine: Winter Class with Jade Alicandro. This 3 class series begins today and covers the elements of Kitchen Medicine, demystifying herbalism and bringing it back into the home. Course topics include the medicinal use of the culinary herbs, food as medicine, medicinal soups and broths, herbal and food energetics, cooking with the tonic herbs, harmonizing with the seasons, medicinal mushrooms and seaweeds, medicine-making, and more. Preregister. Blue Dragon Apothecary. 158 Main St. 413-773-3730. Greenfield, MA.

Sunday, January 12, 10am-4pm – BOTANY: The Durfee Conservatory, located on the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus and established in 1867, has a rich history. Tucked away in a hustling and bustling campus of over 25,000 students, this greenhouse complex is a sanctuary of calm and serenity. Greenhouses include Bonsai-Camellia, Epiphyte/Vine, Tropical, and Succulents. Durfee Conservatory. 413-545-5234. 210 Stockbridge Road. Amherst, MA.

Sunday, January 12, 10am-3pm – NATURE/SCAVENGER HUNT: Nature Scavenger Hunt at Mount Greylock. Adventurous quests invite visitors to explore various treasures along any forested trail. A self-guided activity, free lists can be picked up at Visitor Center. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Mount Greylock Visitor Center. 413-499-4262. 30 Rockwell Road, Lanesborough, MA.

Sunday, January 12, 1:30-4pm – FOOD HISTORY/GUIDED TOUR: Northampton Food Tour. Sample the best the Pioneer Valley has to offer, from a local coffee roaster to a quirky brunch spot to indulge in sweet potato fries to favorite ice cream parlor. Together with a friendly local guide, participants will sample some of Northampton’s most delicious eats while learning about the rich history of the Pioneer Valley. Organized by Off The Beaten Path Food Tours. Northampton, MA.

Sunday, January 12, 2-5pm – BAKING ARTS/RYE BREAD: Exploring The World of Rye Baking. Join Sam Coates-Finke of Backyard Bread for a fact-packed afternoon of bread baking. Several types of rye bread will be baked. Take a loaf home along with the skills to bake more for family and friends. Tyler Memorial Library. 413-339-4335. 157 Main St, Charlemont, MA.


Monday, January 13

Monday, January 13, 10-11am – HEALTH/QI GONG: Qi Gong literally translates to “life energy cultivation.” This unique practice resembles tai chi, in its mixture of relaxed, slow moving poses, breath work. Qi Gong can be seen as a form of meditation, self healing, even self defense. Originating in ancient Chinese daoist exercises, Qi Gong is now practiced by millions in China and around the world and is the subject of numerous medical research trials, investigating the impact of Qi Gong on pain, hypertension, even cancer. Practitioners of all levels are invited to attend this weekly community practice of Qi Gong. Sunderland Public Library. 20 School Street, Sunderland, MA.

Monday, January 13, 11am – STORYTIME/INFANT: Read books, sing songs, play with puppets and toys, and meet other babies and caregivers at the library. The first 20 minutes are storytime, followed by 40 minutes of free play with toys. For ages 0-18 months. Forbes Library. 413-587-1011. 20 West St, Northampton, MA.

Monday, January 13, 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 13, 6:45-8pm – MINDFULNESS/FOOD: Mindful Eating Intro Session, offering the principles and concepts of mindful eating and initial mindfulness meditation instruction. Ongoing meetings will happen each week following this intro night. In these meetings, participants will explore mindful eating, an embodied approach to balancing and finding peace in our relationship to eating and nourishing ourselves. Best for lifelong learners and self-directed teens. Breathing Space Yoga & Mindfulness Studio. 413-437-0747. 208 Race Street, #301. Holyoke, MA.

Monday, January 13, 7-8pm – ECONOMICS/INVESTING: Investment Fundamentals, a free workshop that will cover the basics of investing. This session will include explanations of the different types of bonds, stocks, mutual funds and EFTs, IRAs, and Employer-Sponsored plans. The class will discuss dollar-cost averaging, tax-free income, and the diversification of your portfolio. No registration is required. Chicopee Public Library. 413-594-1800. 449 Front St., Chicopee, MA.


Tuesday, January 14

Tuesdays January 14, 10-11:30am – MINDFULNESS/FOREST BATHING: Forest Bathing/Shinrin Yoku with Canyon Ranch Guides. Shinrin Yoku is the Japanese practice of taking in the forest atmosphere or forest bathing. A Canyon Ranch guide leads you on a slow, intentional walk into the woods to de-stress and get re-connected with nature. Find a meditative spot and relax as you are led into a conscious, mindful state. The ambient sounds, elemental scents, and connection to the earth will soothe you as you soak in the great outdoors. No previous experience is necessary. Meet at the Visitor Center. Please dress appropriately for winter weather conditions, dress in layers, and wear winter boots. If conditions permit, bring snowshoes and hiking poles. This program is free and open to ages 8+. An adult must accompany children. Mount Greylock Visitor Center. 413-499-4262. 30 Rockwell Road, Lanesborough, MA.

Tuesday, January 14, 10-10:45am – STORYTIME/CREATIVE FREE PLAY: New England lore holds that the character of Mother Goose was actually based on a 17th century Bostonian woman, who became famous for singing songs and telling stories to children in her neighborhood. Unfortunately there is no evidence that this is true and the first occurrence of the name “Mother Goose,” appears in a volume of collected fairy tales from 1780, entitled Mother Goose’s Melody. Join Kay Lyons for her popular “Mother Goose on the Loose” series of lap-sit story hours for children under 3. This event will also feature games, puppets, and other toys for children to play with. Greenfield Public Library. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street, Greenfield, MA.

Tuesday, January 14, 4-5:30pm – PHYSICS/YOYO SCHOOL: Learn the art of modern yoyo at the A2Z Science & Learning Store in downtown Northampton! Professional yoyo players teach FREE classes 3 days a week in the back of the store. Start by learning the basics with classic tricks like “Rock the Baby” or “Around the World” and then get ready to take it to the next level with modern yo-yos that feature ball bearings for long spin time and truly next level string tricks that will amaze! Great for ages 7 and up. No advanced sign up is required. (Great for parent and child to do together!) YoYo School happens every Tues, Fri, & Sat, 4:30-5:30pm. A2Z Science & Learning Store. 413-586-1611. 57 King St, Northampton, MA.

Tuesday, January 14, 5:30-6:30pm – ORNITHOLOGY/BIRDS OF PREY: For Tom Ricardi, rescuing and rehabilitating hawks and owls has been a lifelong labor of love. Join the Northfield Bird Club as Tom shares stories from bird encounters, including more than 140 hawks and owls he rescued this past year with the goal of returning them to the wild. Ricardi will use selected live birds of prey to highlight stories from his life and passion rescuing birds. This free program is primarily geared for adults and older children, although all ages are welcome. No registration is necessary. Northfield Mountain. 413-659-3714. 99 Millers Falls Road, RT 63, Northfield, MA.

Tuesday, January 14, 6:30-8pm – AROMATHERAPY/ESSENTIAL OILS: Essential Oils Workshop. Would you like to create vibrant health, have better sleep, relieve and prevent stress, and decrease pain with natural solutions? Learn how to use safe, effective, therapeutic grade essential oils to address the root causes of these issues and more with educator, Jill Wolk. Leave empowered with tools to enhance physical, mental, and emotional well-being. This workshop will cover: What Essential Oils are; How to use them safely and effectively; How Essential Oils can change your life. Pre-registration required. River Valley Co-Op. 413-584-2665. 330 N King St, Northampton, MA.

Tuesday, January 14, 6:30-9:15pm – ART STUDIES/FIGURE DRAWING: Drop-In Figure Drawing with Cyndy Sperry & Katherine Weinstein at Bread Euphoria. This 8-week drop-in class begins with a 25-minute warm-up and then progress to longer poses. Cyndy and Katherine will take turns modeling techniques, materials, and strategies in this dynamic investigation of drawing. Both teachers have different yet complementary styles: Katherine approaches the figure more classically through line, form, and space, and Cyndy is interested in the space between the artist and their subject and the reconciliation of the 3D world with the flat plane of the drawing paper. Both are interested in developing the abstract beauty of the drawing elements. No experience necessary. Drop-ins welcomed. There will be tables, drawing boards, some easels, and sometimes materials to try and share. Bread Euphoria Bakery & Café. 413-268-7757. 206 Main Street. Haydenville, MA.


Wednesday, January 15

Wednesday, January 15, 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 15, 12:30-1:30pm – LIVING HISTORY: A Visit with Mark Twain & Livy Clemons. The Clemens are coming to Longmeadow! Step back in time and spend an afternoon with Mark Twain (Sam Clemens) and his loving wife Livy. The pair will talk of home, family, Sam’s writing, and perhaps share a story or two of their great romance. Hear of some rather silly goings-on at the house, Livy’s role as editor, and what it truly is like having Harriet Beecher Stowe as your neighbor. The visit will include a question and answer period, where the Clemens shall look forward to settling a few curiosities. Kit Webb and Beth Avery are delighted to be portraying Sam and Livy. The two work as Living History Interpreters at The Mark Twain House & Museum located in Hartford, Connecticut. Preregister. Longmeadow Adult Center. 413-565-4150. 231 Maple Road, Longmeadow, MA.

Wednesday, January 15, 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 15, 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.

Wednesday, January 15, 4-5:30pm – MYTH/FOLKLORE: Through images and stories, participants in this 8-week class, “Puppets, Masks, and Mythological Creatures,” will explore magical tales from long ago, including myths and folklore from Greece, Celtic and Norse legends, African, Asian, Australian, and Native American traditions. Together, participants will create mythological creature drawings, paper maché sculpture, and masks for imaginative play. Ages 7-11 Preregister for this 8-week class. Artspace Community Arts Center. 413-772-6811. 15 Mill St., Greenfield, MA.

Wednesday, January 15, 6:30-7:30pm – MEDICAL HISTORY/POLIO: Polio: Intersection of History & Science. This talk will explore the history and touch upon the science of polio. The speaker, Daniel Skiest, will primarily concentrate this evening’s talk on the outbreak in the United States. He will examine the race for the vaccine; the history of the March of Dimes; and, present-day status of where we are worldwide in polio eradication. Best for lifelong learners and self-directed teens. Storrs Library. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street, Longmeadow, MA.

Wednesday, January 15, 7-9pm – AMERICAN HISTORY/WHITE PINE: Screening of “Eastern White Pine: The Tree Rooted in American History” – In American colonial times, stately eastern white pines were among the most valuable trees on the planet. They were an imposing presence in the primeval forests of eastern North America. This new documentary film tells the story of our native white pine, and the significant part it played in America’s founding and history, using archival footage, stunning photography, and aerial views. After the movie, the producers of the film, Bob Leverett (Co-Founder of The Native Tree Society) and Ray Aselin (Naturalist and Film Maker) will describe the making of the film, and answer questions from the audience. Preregister. Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-584-3009. 127 Combs Rd, Easthampton, MA.


Thursday, January 16

Thursday, January 16, 10am-12:30pm – HIKING/INTERGENERATIONAL: Nice and Easy Trail Hike; Easy-paced, one to 3-mile hikes geared toward seniors, but open to all ages. This is an ideal opportunity to join with other hiking enthusiasts! May be staff-led or self-guided. Dress appropriately for winter weather conditions; trekking poles and traction devices for boots or snowshoes are recommended as trails may be snow-covered, muddy, or icy. Bring drinking water and a snack. Meet at the Visitor Center. Inclement weather cancels. Mount Greylock Visitor Center. 413-499-4262. 30 Rockwell Road, Lanesborough, MA.

Thursday, January 16, 2-2:30pm – STORYTIME/MANDARIN: Bilingual Storytime: Mandarin at the Museum in the Reading Library. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. 413-559-6300. 125 W Bay Rd, Amherst, MA.

Thursday January 16, 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 16, 4-5:30pm – LEGOS: LEGO Challenge at the Meekins Library. How fast can you build a spaceship with LEGOs? Will your LEGO bridge support a 5-pound book? Can you make a LEGO tree while blindfolded? This monthly program includes different challenges each month and prizes! For ages five and up. Meekins Library. 413-268-7472. 2 Williams St, Williamsburg, MA.


Friday, January 17

Friday, January 17, 10am-3pm – ART STUDIES/LANDSCAPE PAINTING: Painting Winter Landscapes. During this 1-day class, learn how to paint snowy landscapes, from the warmth and comfort of the indoors. Working from photo references, students will complete a painting from start to finish, all the while learning the secrets to painting winter scenery. Supply list provided. Best for lifelong learners and self-directed teens. Instructor: Eliza Moser. Springfield Museums. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA.

Friday, January 17, 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 17, 1-4pm – VIDEO GAMES: One Up Games Presents: Super Smash Bros Ultimate Tournament! Have you unlocked the entire roster and found your main yet? If so (or even if not), compete against the best Ultimate players in your area at the Forbes Library Smash Ultimate Tournament! Tournament entry is free, and you do not need to be a library member to attend. Friendlies begin at 12:30pm; official tournament brackets start at 1pm. They will have pro and GameCube controllers available, as well as GameCube adaptors. Players are welcome to bring their own controller. This free program is for tweens and teens. Forbes Library. 413-587-1011. 20 West St, Northampton, MA.

Friday, January 17, 4-5:30pm – PHYSICS/YOYO SCHOOL: Learn the art of modern yoyo at the A2Z Science & Learning Store in downtown Northampton! Professional yoyo players teach FREE classes 3 days a week in the back of the store. Start by learning the basics with classic tricks like “Rock the Baby” or “Around the World” and then get ready to take it to the next level with modern yo-yos that feature ball bearings for long spin time and truly next level string tricks that will amaze! Great for ages 7 and up. No advanced sign up is required. (Great for parent and child to do together!) YoYo School happens every Tues, Fri, & Sat, 4:30-5:30pm. A2Z Science & Learning Store. 413-586-1611. 57 King St, Northampton, MA.

Friday, January 17, 6pm – ART STUDIES/FIGURE DRAWING: Are you a lifelong learner looking to sharpen your skills as an artist? Figure drawing gets right down to the fundamentals of art. Figure Drawing Fridays has a nice little studio close to downtown Northampton and opens every Friday night at 6 (drawing at 6:30) for three hours of arty fun in an open and light atmosphere. There will be music playing, people chatting and of course, sketching and painting (no oils please). BYOB and bring your own media. Model and easels provided. RSVP is requested if you want an easel as space is limited. There is NO INSTRUCTOR (except for special nights) at this event although plenty of friendly peer review. Northampton, MA.


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

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