Victorian Valentines Workshop & Era Days at Wistariahurst Museum

Victorian Valentines Workshop
Wistariahurst Museum in Holyoke
Sunday, February 10th, 2013

Join museum staff for an afternoon of crafting valentines for friends, family and sweethearts on Sunday, February 10th. Antique valentines, bygone love poems and enchanting phrases will be on display for inspiration.

On Sunday, February 10 from 1-3pm, come to Wistariahurst Museum for this fun and creative program that will inspire the artist in everyone! In 1847, the year she graduated from Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, Esther Howland of Worcester, Massachusetts received her first Valentine’s Day card. She was so pleased with this English novelty that she tried making some valentines of her own. With the help of her brother, a salesman who carried her cards with him along with his other samples, she received $5,000 worth of orders her first year in business!

Esther was able to handle the large volume of orders by employing friends and using “assembly-line” techniques for the production of her cards. Her cards were covered with an array of linen lace, colored paper, hand-painted birds and flowers and hand-inscribed, rhymed messages.

Esther found herself a true businesswoman by the end of 1849. She continued to make valentines for two decades. She eventually would profit $50,000 -$100,000 annually from the sale of her cards. Esther Howland’s business success made her one of America’s first “modern woman.”

Channel your inner Esther by creating your own beautiful, unique card for special friends, family and sweethearts. Antique valentines, bygone love poems and enchanting phrases will be on display for inspiration. Reservations for the workshop are suggested. $5 per person.

Victorian Era Days

Holyoke: From Monday, February 18 to Thursday, February 21 from 11am – 12pm, step out of the winter doldrums and back in time at Wistariahurst Museum! The museum is offering daily craft workshops for interested Girl Scouts and other young women. Victorian Era days is a program designed to educate young women on pastimes of yore. $5 per person per activity. Reserve online at www.wistariahurst.org

Monday, February 18, 11am-12pm: Decorated Diaries
Each member of the Skinner family kept countless journals, diaries and scrapbooks. Help keep the tradition alive by binding and decorating your own diary and learning a bit more about what was in the heads of the Skinner family.

Tuesday, February 19, 11am-12pm: Build a Bookmark
Before Kindles & Nooks there existed books! Often acting as mini-scrapbooks, bookmarks were more than just a placeholder. Join us for story-time and the opportunity to make your own bookmark keepsake.

Wednesday, February 20, 11am-12pm: Historic Hats & Hatboxes
First, take a peek at some of the antique hats Wistariahurst has gathered over time in its archives. Then, after being inspired by such ornate headwear, decorate your own miniature hatbox to take home with you!

Thursday, February 19, 11am-12pm: Fancy Fans
Become bilingual in the language of the fan with an afternoon at Wistariahurst! Scouts can see some examples of antique fans and then have the chance to decorate their own. Ending the hour of fun is a lesson on the art of communicating with your fan.

Wistariahurst Museum is located at 238 Cabot Street in Holyoke. For more information, please call 413-322-5660 or go online at www.wistariahurst.org.

-Submitted by Marjorie Latham [Photo credit: (ccl) SLV]

26 Community Highlights: Glass Blowing to Handmade Valentines. Ice Harvest to Hobby Railroad.


February is Black History Month, also known as African-American History Month. From the archives, we have a few episode of the Hilltown Family Variety Show that would make excellent listening anytime, including the Underground Railroad Episode, Martin Luther King, Jr. Episode and Black History Month Episode— great shows for introducing American history and heroes to younger children through song and story. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield) 

Spelling Bee to Cosmology.  Glass Blowing to Handmade Valentines. Ice Harvest to Hobby Railroad. African-American History Month to Groundhogs Day… These are just a few of the learning highlights we’re featuring this week.  Get out into your community and learn while you play! And be sure to check our list of supporting book titles to supplement the learning on the different topics highlighted each week. Purchase them for your family library, or check them out from the public library!

Animals & Nature MYO Valentines
Black History Month
HistoryMusic & Art
Science & SpellingParents’ Night Out

ANIMAL & NATURE STUDIES

Saturday, February 2nd is Groundhog Day! Families with young children can celebrate in the morning at the Great Falls Discovery Center in Turners Falls by learning about the winter habits of the shadow-searching creatures, and make a guess about whether or not winter will last for six more weeks

Learn about raptors at the Greenfield Center School on Sunday afternoon, February 3rd at their annual free Birds of Prey Open House with Tom Ricardi, Raptor Rehabilitator. Bird-related activities and projects, like owl pellet dissecting, will be lead by Center School teachers.

In Williamstown in the afternoon on Sunday, explore Field Farm for their free Winter Wildlife Day at Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation. Dress warmly to trek around the farm, searching for signs of wildlife and learning about how the many creatures who call the farmlands home survive during the winter months. Bring snowshoes or skis if you wish. Warm up after your adventure by toasting marshmallows over a campfire! 4

In the morning on Wednesday, February 7th in Williamsburg, start out your day with some fresh air with a free guided hike at Petticoat Hill with the Trustees of Reservations. The theme of the hike is edible plant identification, and the hike will stop a few times along the way for observations. Bring a field guide and a camera if you want.

HANDMADE VALENTINES

Did you sign up for the Hilltown Families 5th annual Handmade Valentine Swap? Whether you did or not, making handmade valentines is a great way to push against the commercialization of yet another holiday, while being creative with your family and friends. There are a few opportunities to get out in your community to make valentines with others this weekend!

On Saturday morning, February 2nd, sign up to take part in the Eric Carle Museum’s Valentine-making party, which will take place in the museum’s art studio in Amherst or make your own valentines at the Mason Library in Great Barrington. In the afternoon on Saturday, families can also make their own handmade valentines at Art Party in Easthampton. If you can’t make any of those, on Sunday evening, February 3rd, kids ages 8-14 can learn basic drawing and print-making techniques with local artists at the Shutesburny Town Hall to use to create unique and beautiful handmade valentines.

BLACK HISTORY MONTH

There are also a few upcoming events happening at area museum that support the study of American history for older students. On Saturday morning, February 2nd the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield presents, “Envisioning Emancipation: Black Americans and the End of Slavery,” the first in a two-part lecture series featuring author Barbara Krauthamer. The presentation will use historic images (including the Massachusetts 54th Regiment, Sojourner Truth, abolitionist conventions, and more) to examine what the freedom granted by the Emancipation Proclamation really looked like in the years just after its implementation. Older students can pair the event with studies of American history and civil rights – gaining a critical understanding of the implications of the historic proclamation can help students better understand the roots of race-related conflicts and inequalities. The second lecture will take place at the same time on Saturday, February 9th.

Learn about the history of slavery in the Connecticut River Valley on Thursday at noon, February 7th at the Springfield Museums’ Museums a la Carte lecture, featuring Amherst College Professor Robert Romer. During the 1700’s, it was commonplace for important, prominent people to own slaves – even ministers. Older students can learn how the practice of slave-holding affected the history of their community.

Learn about the powerful images that Norman Rockwell created during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s on Friday afternoon, February 8th in Stockbridge. Norman Rockwell Museum’s Curator of Education Tom Daly will share the stories behind the creation of such paintings as “The Problem We All Live With,” “Murder in Mississippi,” and “New Kids in the Neighborhood,” and Rockwell’s dedication to civil rights throughout his career.

HISTORY

The annual Amherst Railroad Society Railroad Hobby Show takes place this weekend (Feb. 2nd & 3rd) at the Big E in West Springfield, and contains everything related to rail travel, from real life railroad pieces to scale models and extensive hobby train set-ups. There will be displays from railroad historical societies, hobby builders, suppliers, and more – the event has something for everyone, whether you’re new to studying railroads and model trains of a seasoned enthusiast! Families can learn about the history of rail travel, and the numerous types of trains and their uses. Kids can also learn about the history of railroad use in the area, and will learn about how their community has changed over the years.

Attend an old-fashioned ice harvest at the Old Shop Pond at the Noble and Cooley Center for Historic Preservation in Granville on Saturday afternoon, February 2nd. Dennis Picard, director of Storrowton Village, will teach visitors about the historic practice of cutting ice from the pond to store for the year. The museum will show a short video about the history of ice harvesting in New England on loop, so that visitors throughout the day can learn even more about winter life in early New England.

Local author Sarah Kilborne will read from American Phoenix: The Remarkable Story of William Skinner, the Man Who Turned Disaster into Destiny. on Sunday afternoon, February 3rd. The book tells the story of Skinner’s life, and offers much information about the history of local silk production, and Haydenville’s recovery from the 1874 flood. Takes place at the Meekins Library in Williamsburg.

Families can do hands-on activities to learn about early New England life at Old Sturbridge Village! The village’s winter homeschool day takes place on on Friday, February 8th and will feature a variety of special workshops for all ages, in addition to the daily opportunities to explore the village, meet historical re-enactors, and learn all about 1830’s culture and practices. Some of the workshops offered today include learning to make a kitchen grater using tin-working techniques, open hearth cooking, and studying the language of fans and dance etiquette.

MUSIC & ART STUDIES

Celebrate the opening of glass artist Noah Rockland’s new glassblowing studio on Sunday, February 3rd in Montague. Families can learn about the art of glassblowing and watch demonstrations.

Smith College’s John M. Greene Hall will be filled with the sounds of a capella on Sunday afternoon, February 3rd in Northampton. The Northampton Arts Council’s annual Silver Chord Bowl will feature groups from Smith College, Northeastern, the University of Connecticut, Yale, Tufts, NYU, Berklee College of Music, and the Northamptones. Families will love the unique sound that each group has, and can learn to better understand a capella music by listening to a sampling of well-performed pieces.

The Mt. Holyoke College Music Department presents flutist Andrea Kapell Loewy, principal in the Acadania Symphony, in concert on Wednesday afternoon, February 6th in Hadley. Students with audience skills can learn about the unique sound of this beautiful wind instrument at this free performance.

SCIENCE & SPELLING

Older students can learn about the science behind the human sense of smell at the OEB Science Cafe on Monday evening, February 4th in Hadley. This free event will take place at Esselon Cafe, and will be lead by UMass graduate student Tom Eiting will explain his work researching how nasal passages work and how smell is perceived in the brain.

Where did the universe come from? Learn about its origins on Tuesday evening, February 5th with cosmologist Lawrence Krauss at Williams College in Williamstown. Best for older students, the talk will cover recent developments in the field of particle physics, as well as ideas behind why there is something in the universe instead of nothing at this free talk.

The second annual Westfield city-wide spelling bee, Words With Friends, takes place on Thursday evening, February 7th. Students from all of the city’s fifth grade classrooms have participated in preliminary bees, and this final event will include two top spellers from each school! Takes place at Westfield State University.

PARENTS NIGHT OUT

Saturday night, February 2nd: Enjoy an evening of classic jazz at the Gateways Inn Restaurant in Lenox. The event is a fundraiser for the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School’s high school, and will feature local musicians.

Thursday, afternoon February 7th: Enjoy an indulgent night of wine and chocolate at the Springfield Museums! There will be wines to taste, chocolates to try, and delicious chocolate hors d’ouevres, as well as guest speaker Donald Williams, a professional wine buyer.

Friday, evening February 8th: New Orleans’ own legends the Preservation Hall Jazz Band are playing The Clark in Williamstown! Playing both Dixieland and traditional jazz, the group represents the historic Preservation Hall’s decades-long musical tradition.

List of Weekly Suggested EventsFind out about these events and over 100 other events & activities happening all next week in our List of Weekly Suggested Events. All of our listed events are “suggested.” Please take a moment to confirm that these events are happening as scheduled, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before heading out.

SUPPORTING BOOK TITLES

Families Gather to Make Handmade Valentines in Shelburne Falls

MYO Handmade Valentine Workshop
Brings Families Together

On Friday, January 25th, Hilltown Families and the Art Garden presented a Make Your Own Handmade Valentines Workshop, as part of a 3-part free Friday family workshop series in Shelburne Falls. Families with children of all ages gathered to make Valentines together.

Getting crafty with family, friends and neighbors in a community art space like The Art Garden, builds relationships, affords opportunities to share and connect, and allows the space for creativity that our otherwise busy lives might not offer.

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Join in the Swap!

Hilltown Families 5th Annual Handmade Community Valentine SwapThere’s still time to sign up to participate in the Hilltown Families 5th Annual Community Handmade Valentine Swap! For the past several years Hilltown Families has coordinated a community Handmade Valentine Swap — and we’re doing it again! Push back against the commercialization of Valentine’s Day while getting creative with your kids and connecting with your community… sign up to participate! Swapping happens through the mail with 10 other families! It’s free to sign up and open to all in Western MA. Deadline to sign up: Jan. 31, 2013. Western MA (FREE)

Handmade Valentines: Free Family Workshop

This free workshop is full and pre-registration is now closed… however, there’s still time to sign up for our Valentine Swap! Click on the banner to sign up by Jan 31, 2013:

Handmade Valentine Workshop for Families
Friday, Jan. 25th from 4-7pm
The Art Garden in Shelburne Falls

Is your family participating in the Hilltown Families 5th Annual Community Handmade Valentine Swap? Come create together in The Art Garden’s community supported art-making space. Find inspiration from other along with great direction from visual artist/teacher Jane Beatrice Wegscheider!

Make Your Own Handmade Valentines with Hilltown Families at The Art Garden in Shelburne Falls during a free family workshop: Friday, January 25th, from 4-7pm.  Families can create their own unique valentines using simple book-making techniques or countless other ideas with materials provided by The Art Garden in Shelburne Falls.  Drop in anytime.  Pre-registration required (Sign up below.).

This is the first of a series of three Free Friday Family Nights Hilltown Families and The Art Garden will be offering this winter.  All materials included, but feel free to bring any materials you’d like to incorporate into your handmade valentines, such as photocopies of personally relevant images if you’d like (photos of loved ones, poems you love, pictures of places and things your Valentine cares about, etc.).

PRE-REGISTRATION HAS CLOSED. EVENT IS FULL: This free workshop is full and pre-registration is now closed… however, there’s still time to sign up for our Valentine Swap! Click on the banner to sign up by Jan 31, 2013:

The Art Garden is located at 14 Depot Street, Suite 2 in Shelburne Falls, MA (in the same building as the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum.).   SEE MAP.
Art Garden Valentine's (submitted)

5th Annual Handmade Valentine Swap for Western MA Families

Q&A: Where to Dine in Western MA for Valentine’s Day with Your Family

QUESTION AND ANSWERS

Erin Burke Murphy writes, “Can anyone recommend some restaurants my Husband and I could go to with our 20 month old for an early delicious Valentine’s Day dinner?”

  • Matt Grillo recommends:Bertucci’s (Amherst, Longmeadow & West Springfield) is very family-friendly, inexpensive and tasty. ♥”
  • Lori Shine recommends: “The Apollo Grill in Easthampton! Especially on the early side (5:30pm) they are usually not that busy, staff is super kid-friendly, their menu has a luxurious side and less expensive options too. Not to mention if the 20-month-old needs a break from her seat, one of the parents can let her run in Eastworks‘ long hallways for a few minutes! Hands down our favorite restaurant for family dining! p.s. the food is fantastic.”
  • Ron Frost Wright recommends: “There’s always Four Main Street Bar and Grill in Huntington if your looking for a quiet atmosphere or the Russell Inn in Russell, MA.”
  • Kathy McDonnell Elsea recommends: “I’m with Lori… Apollo Grill… Roberto’s Restaurant (Northampton) is yummy too.”
  • Kara Kitchen recommends:Pizzeria Paradisio in Northampton, The Brewmaster’s Tavern in Williamsburg, Hope and Olive in Greenfield… I heard Chandler’s Restaurant (South Deerfield) is very nice for Valentine’s Day…and the little one would love a trip through Yankee Candle. Maybe Magic Wings before hand to really make it special-butterflies+flowers are a perfect celebration of love!”
  • Judy Bennett recommends:People’s Pint in Greenfield is kid friendly with great food & beer.”
  • Sandra Dias recommends: “Roberto’s Restaurant in Northampton is very family-friendly.”
  • Melanie Courtemanche recommends:Judie’s Restaurant in Amherst.”
  • Rebecca Trow Addison recommends: “I will add that while it’s not romantic at all .. the Route 9 Diner in Hadley is family friendly and on Tuesdays kids eat free. Valentines’ Day happens to fall on a Tuesday so… if kids ask nicely the cashier will let them pick a toy out from a bin tucked under the cashier’s desk when the family leaves. Plus of course the kids menus are made for coloring and doing activities etc… On nights other than Tuesdays the prices are reasonable. Kid’s pancake is about $2, burgers and other items a few bucks more. Great place!”
  • Erin Burke Murphy writes, “Great suggestions! Thanks everyone, I’ll let you know where we end up.”

Read the rest of this entry »

HFVS Valentine’s Day 2012 Episode with Guest DJ, Charity Kahn (Radio Show/Podcast)

Listen to Podcast:

VALENTINE’S DAY EPISODE
with Guest DJ, Charity Kahn

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
Feb. 11th & 12th, 2012
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA


New Podcasts ♦ Archived Podcasts Subscribe to Podcast
Radio  Facebook Twitter

CHARITY KAHN’S PLAYLIST

Find out more about our Guest DJ, Charity Kahn at www.jamjamjam.com.

Previous Valentine’s Day Podcasts:

Feb 12, 2008 — Valentine’s Day Episode with Guest DJ, Uncle Rock — Playlist ♦ Podcast

Suggested Events for Feb 11th-17th, 2012

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Northampton's 2nd Annual Ice Art Festival happens this Friday, Feb. 10th as part of Northampton Arts Night Out. See sculptures being made during the day on Friday and enjoy them Friday night and throughout the weekend. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Suggest EventIf you have a family friendly event or educational program happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, post your event on our “Suggest An Event” page. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout Western Massachusetts while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Click HERE to find out more.

BEST BETS

Flywheel Saturday Morning Music PartyOn Saturday, February 11th from 10am – MUSIC/PANCAKES – The first in a series of Saturday Morning Music Party events kicks of at Flywheel with a pancake breakfast, screening of Pancake Mountain, and DJ Youthelectronix for a family dance party. This series is presented by Flywheel, Hilltown Families and The No Nap Happy Hour. 413-527-9800. 43 Main St. (Old Town Hall). Easthampton, MA (FREE)

Then later on Saturday, February 11th from 12:30-3:30pm – VALENTINES/HISTORY: Create your own Victorian-inspired valentines today at the Wistariahurst Museum!  The museum will have antique valentines on display for participants to view and gain inspiration from.  413-322-5660.  238 Cabot Street.  Holyoke, MA.  (<$)

In the evening on Saturday, February 11th from 5-8pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Easthampton’s annual Fire and Ice celebration takes place tonight!  It’s during the town’s monthly Art Walk event, and along with galleries being open across town, there will be ice sculptures all over town, street performances, and live music!  Families can see art created by local artists and enjoy the pop-up winter street art.  Easthampton, MA.  (FREE)

Parents' Night Out ticket giveaway for Valentine's Day to see Ruth Moody at the Iron Horse in Northampton, MA! Deadline to enter to win: 02/10/12 by 7pm (EST)

On Sunday, February 12th from 10am-12noon – CREATIVE FREE PLAY: The Cummington Family Center is hosting a valentine-themed potluck and box play event for families today!  Bring a dish to share, and then enjoy creative free play using a collection of boxes big and small.  Kids can exercise their creativity by building and creating- boxes are great for free play, and it’s a totally non-commercial activity!  33 Main Street.  Cummington, MA.  (FREE)

On Sunday, February 12th from 2-5pm – FATHER/DAUGHTER VALENTINE BALL: Dads and granddads can take the special daughters and/or granddaughters in their lives to Longmeadow Parks and Recreation’s annual Father-Daughter Valentine’s Ball! Dress up in your fanciest clothes and enjoy a fun afternoon of holiday-themed music, dancing, decorations, and treats! Perhaps dads and daughters can learn a few dances together before the event. Takes place at the Community House. 413-565-4160. 735 Londmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA. ($)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Enter to win tix to the Winklepicker Festival's Mardi Gras Ball with Buckwheat Zydeco at the Ashfield Town Hall followed by an after-party with The Primate Fiasco. Deadline to enter to win: 02/15/12 by 7pm (EST)

On Saturday, February 18th from 9am-1pm – ANIMAL ADVENTURE: Spend the day outside learning about animal tracking, botany, and how animals adapt for survival during the winter today at the Guyette Farm with the Franklin Land Trust!  Naturalist John Foster will lead the exploration. Registration required.  413-625-9151.  Gloyd Street.  Plainfield, MA.  (FREE)

On Sunday, February 19th from 3-5pm – FAMILY DANCE: Families are invited to Laurel Park for live music, traditional country dancing, singing and some games, all led by an experienced caller, for families with little ones. 413-230-7037. 2 Laurel Park. Northampton, MA (>$)

BULLETIN BOARD

ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS: Accepting applications for fall 2012. The Bement School founded in 1925 and located in Deerfield is a co-educational junior boarding and day school serving 245 students in kindergarten through grade 9.  Bement’s rich, traditional curriculum motivates and challenges students with strong academics, a renowned fine arts program, and a diverse athletic program. Students participate in athletics and fine arts daily. The pervasive atmosphere at Bement is that of a family, learning and living together. Bement actively seeks an academically diverse, international, and multi-cultural student body. For information on how to apply, financial aid, or to arrange a visit to campus, call 413-774-7061  www.bement.org.

Jennifer Van Beckum writes, “There are currently 2-3 openings in my home-based Waldorf Childcare Program in Florence, ½ or full day options.  The program is based on rhythm, a love of nature, the protection of childhood, and the belief that the caregiver should surround the children with the love and happiness which will help their capacities unfold and flourish.  Our days include creative play, crafts, painting, baking, and gardening, circle time, story time, outdoor play and rest time.  Warm, home-made, nutritious snacks and lunch are served.  I have 20 years experience as an Early Childhood Teacher and am also a Certified Simplicity Parenting Group Leader.  For more information call Jennifer Van Beckum: 413-586-0596 or email: javanbeckum@iglide.net.”

SPONSORSHIP & ADVERTISING: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. See your event, camp, workshop, business featured here in the bulletin board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and eNewsletter! Find out more about our Enhanced Publicity options and how we can help with your marketing.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
Feb 11th—Feb 17th, 2012

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Read the rest of this entry »

Non-Commercial Way to Celebrate Valentine’s Day

Be Mine: Chocolate & Valentines
Non-Commercial Way to Celebrate Valentine’s Day
February 11th & 12th at Old Sturbridge Village

Discover the history of chocolate and Valentine cards at OSV this weekend. A visit to the village during the special Valentine weekend is a way to celebrate Valentine’s Day non-commercially, and is also a great way to teach kids about life in early America!

Even when you’re immersed in the 19th century at Old Sturbridge Village, Valentine’s Day is still about sharing cards and eating chocolate.  OSV’s “Be Mine: Chocolate and Valentines” takes place from 9:30am to 4pm this coming weekend, February 11th and 12th.  Visitors to the village will learn about the history of chocolate in the United States, as well as how Valentine cards became an important part of celebrating Valentine’s Day.  Historians at the village will show visitors the process of grinding roasted cacao beans to use in making chocolate cake and a spicy hot chocolate drink (not like the hot chocolate we have today!).  Kids can create their own Valentines, an activity that they may be eager to take part in after learning where the tradition comes from (Hint: it involves a stationery maker, his young daughter, and an English tradition!)!  A visit to the village during the special Valentine weekend is a way to celebrate Valentine’s Day non-commercially, and is also a great way to teach kids about life in early America!  Learning about early customs and traditions can spark a discussion on the evolution of culture, and can supplement learning about customs and traditions for many different holidays in a variety of cultures.  For more information, visit www.osv.org or call OSV at 800-733-1830.

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: Ruth Moody at Iron Horse on Valentine’s Day

Ruth Moody Band
Iron Horse Music Hall ♦ Northampton
Wednesday, Feb 14th, 2012 @ 7pm

Parents' Night Out ticket giveaway for Valentine's Day to see Ruth Moody at the Iron Horse in Northampton, MA! Deadline to enter to win: 02/10/12 by 7pm (EST)

Hilltown Families and Iron Horse Entertainment Group have partnered up to offer a chance to win free tickets to see adult venues in the Pioneer Valley for a PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT! You pay for the sitter, we’ll pay for the tickets!

For Valentine’s Day we are pleased to offer a chance to win a pairs of tickets to see Ruth Moody Band on Valentine’s Day, Wed., February 14th, 7pm at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, MA.

Win the tickets and take your sweetheart or BFF out for Valentine’s Day. Deadline to enter to win is Friday, 02/10/12 @ 7pm (EST). More details below.

ABOUT RUTH MOODY BAND

Although best known for her work with The Wailin’ Jennys, Ruth Moody is a Juno Award winning songwriter who’s made numerous critically-acclaimed albums and appeared more than a dozen times on A Prairie Home Companion. She’s also the former lead singer of The Duhks. She plays guitar, banjo, accordion, piano, and bodhrán and is a gifted songwriter. Writing with a maturity and wisdom that belies her age, her songs are timeless, universal, and exceptionally well-crafted, all sung with an intimacy and honesty that is unmistakably hers. Ruth released her highly-anticipated solo album The Garden in Spring 2010 features with an all-star cast including Crooked Still, Kevin Breit (Norah Jones, k.d. lang), Luke Doucet, and a guest appearance by The Wailin’ Jennys. The Ruth Moody Band, is Adam Dobres (electric guitar), Adrian Dolan (strings, mandolin, accordion) and Sam Howard (bass, vocals). www.ruthmoody.com

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win a pair of tickets to see Ruth Moody Band on Valentine’s Day, Wed., February 14th, 7pm at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, MA. is easy & simple!  To enter to win simply:

  • CONSIDER SHARING ON FACEBOOK by selecting “Like” below
  • TELL US HOW HILLTOWN FAMILIES KEEPS YOU CONNECTED WITH DATE NIGHT OPPORTUNITIES  below (one entry per household) and be sure to tell us your
  • FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
  • LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
  • ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  • We’ll randomly draw a winner and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Tuesday, 02/10/12 @ 7pm (EST)

If you don’t win you should still go. Tickets are available at the Northampton Box office, online at IHEG.com, or by calling 413-586-8686.

4th Annual Handmade Valentine Swap for Western MA Families

Valentine’s Day Links

Valentine’s Day Tips for Dads and Daughters

Dads & Daughters Valentine’s Day Tips
By Joe Kelly

Dad and Daughter Sledding in Northampton, MA

Spend 1-on-1 time with your daughter. Take her sledding, to the museum, visit the library... (photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Don’t let Valentine’s Day be just one more chance for Dad to feel like a walking, talking (and unappreciated) checkbook. These Dads & Daughters Tips will help fathers and stepfathers to show daughters that they care on Valentine’s Day and beyond.

  1. Remember, a Daughter hungers for healthy involvement and attention from Dad (even if she doesn’t always show it).
  2. A Daughter wants assurance that her Father and/or Stepfather really knows her and cares about her.
  3. A Daughter wants to feel that Dad is proud of her and that he loves and understands her.
  4. A Daughter wants these intangibles far more than she wants a box of candy or any other present or card.
  5. Daughters sometimes feel that Dads only know how to show their love by buying something. So supplement this year’s store-bought Valentine’s card and candy with your unique message of love.
  6. Give her a hand-written note or personal email — in your own words — telling her how proud you are of her, what you admire about her, how much you enjoy your time together, etc.
  7. Give her the greatest gift of all: your time. Listen to what she has to say and what’s important to her.
  8. Spend 1-on-1 time together on Valentine’s Day or the next available weekend. See a movie, take a walk, go out for coffee or ice cream, play catch. There are a million possibilities (for more ideas, see The Dads & Daughters® Togetherness Guide: 54 Fun Activities to Help Build a Great Relationship).
  9. Remember that she only gets one chance to have you as her Dad or Stepdad while she’s still a girl.
  10. Out of the thousand things you do every day, make sure you always give attention, thought, time, and affection to your Daughter — and your Son.

Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day with your children! Read the rest of this entry »

Swedish Paper Hearts For Valentine’s Day

Hilltown Families Valentine Social: A Look Back

(c) Hilltown Families - Making Swedish Paper Hearts

Weaving Swedish Paper Hearts (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

With classroom rosters in hand, several hilltown families set to work on making Valentines during a Hilltown Families Valentine Making Social on Sunday, Feb. 11, 2007. Families from Ashfield, Chesterfield, Cummington, Plainfield, and West Chesterfield gathered together with red and pink construction paper, glitter glue, white doilies and an assortment of stickers to set forth on the venture of making Valentines for friends, family and classmates.

Making 20 Valentines can seem daunting. Making nearly 50 seems unreasonable. But when you have two children in school, that’s what the tally can add up to. Never mind having more than two children attending the same school! Some might say, “That’s what Hallmark’s for,” but we’re talking about hilltown families – motivated, creative and expressive folks who take on the task of Valentines with excitement and enthusiasm, letting the glitter fly!

Preceding the cutting, glueing and glittering, children were shown a five-minute video which demonstrated how construction paper was made. Narrated by Fred Rogers, children took a video tour through a construction paper factory, illustrating how red construction paper is made – from log to shrink wrapped product. This video tour can be found as an extra feature on the DVD Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood: What Do You Do with the Mad That You Feel?

As the Valentine social progressed, and the kids finished their little love-notes, running off to play, the parents settled into their own projects and conversations. Over discussions on education, winter sports and safety, parents made heart-shaped mobiles, steamers of doilies and Swedish Paper Hearts. And when the kids tummies started to rumble, muffins donated by Bread Euphoria were served with tea and fruit.

WEAVING SWEDISH PAPER HEARTS

Weaving Swedish Paper Hearts can seem difficult at first, but once a rhythm is discovered, it is a pleasant activity to unwind with while relaxing with friends and community.  These paper hearts were traditionally made as ornaments filled with goodies that went on the Christmas Tree, but they also  make a wonderful Valentine’s craft. Learn how to make Swedish Paper Hearts for your loved ones.

(Originally posted: 2/13/07)

Suggested Events 02/12/11-02/18/11

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

SUGGEST AN EVENT

The Magic Wood at Notchview in Windsor, MA (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Suggest an EventIf you have a family friendly event or educational program happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, post your event on our “Suggest An Event” page. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

SPONSORSHIP: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Hilltown Families has been serving & supporting our local community for over 5 years! Help us continue to serve our community by supporting the work we do! Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to support Hilltown Families through sponsorship and enhanced publicity. Let us help get the word out about your event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement. Email hilltownfamilies@gmail.com for more information. — Help us help you!

BEST BETS

In the morning on Saturday, February 12th at 10am FAMILY CONCERT: The Alchemystics perform at The First Churches of Northampton as part of Nonotuck Community School’s 2nd Annual Winter Concert Series. The band labels themselves as new roots music- the group plays a mixture of reggae, soul, hip hop, and dub. Before the show, students from Easthampton’s SHOW Circus Studio’s Circus Stars Youth Performance Troupe will present a show of tumbling, juggling, and other circus feats! 129 Main Street. 586-5996. http://www.nonotuck.org. Northampton, MA. ($)

Later from noon-6pm down in the Pioneer Valley — WINTER FEST: Amherst Leisure Services hosts Winterfest 2011. Bring the family to enjoy both indoor and outdoor winter activities a the Cherry Hill Golf Course (323 Montague Rd.). There will be sled dogs, music, kids carnival, cross country ski lessons, fireworks, sledding & tubing, hay rides, food, and much more. www.winterfestamherst.com Amherst, MA ($)

Also at the noon hour, up in the Berkshires VALENTINE: Family Valentine’s Day celebration at Ventfort Hall (104 Walker St.). Activities through out the day: bonfire, hot cocoa, roasted marshmallows, Nutshell Playhouse in concert, Victoria Tea, “The Might Mysterious Megapuff”, guided tours and more. 637-3206 www.guildedage.org Lenox, MA ($)

Then on Sunday, February 13th at 2pm UKES & YOYOS: Northampton Arts Council presents Ukes and Yoyos at the Academy of Music Theatre, featuring extraordinary ukulele and yoyo performers. 587-1269 Northampton, MA ($)

And in the evening in the Hilltowns on Sunday at 6:30pm FOOD ADVENTURE: Visit The Old Creamery for their popular Chocolate Tasting! Learn about and taste many different varieties of chocolate. Pre-registration requested. 445 Berkshire Trail. 634-5560. www.theoldcreamery.coop. Cummington, MA. (FREE!)

MARK YOUR CALENDAR

Saturday, February 19th from 9am-2pm — WINTER FARMERS’ MARKET: Bernardson Winter Market happens at United Church (58 Church St). www.buylocalfood.org Bernardson, MA (MARKET)

Sunday, February 20th from 2-5pm — BUBBLES: BubbleMania! at the Colonial Theater. Loaded with visual comedy, quick wit, big band swing music and the untamed, often unbelievable qualities and beauty of bubbles. www.thecolonialtheater.org Pittsfield, MA ($)

BULLETIN BOARD

DEBUT OPENING CELEBRATION: Despite the “wintery mix” that made last Saturday night a slippery, slushy evening, a hearty crowd of supporters of Hilltown Families came out to the debut opening celebration of Hilltown Families: A Traveling Photography Exhibit at Cup & Top Cafe in Florence, MA. See snap shots taken at the opening (thank you Tony Lemos!) in our Facebook photo album. The show will be up at the cafe through March and the proceeds from the sales go to benefit Hilltown Families. — In April the show travels to Haydenville to Bread Euphoria where it will be on display in the Corridor Gallery at Andrew Quient Pottery. Mark your calendars for April 10th. There will be a Benefit Birthday Bash at Bread Euphoria for Hilltown Families from 4-7pm with pizza and birthday cake donated by the bakery and a family concert with Mister G. Interested in volunteering for the party planning? Email us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

SAVE THE DATES FOR PRESCHOOL AND KINDERGARTEN SCREENINGS: Preschool screening will be held on April 4th at Littleville Elementary School. Kindergarten Screening will be held for children living in the towns of Huntington, Montgomery, Russell and Worthington on April 14th at Littleville Elementary School. Kindergarten Screening will be held for children living in Blandford, Chester or Middlefield on April 14th at Chester Elementary School. More information will be coming soon, including the ages of eligible children and how to schedule an appointment.

ART EXHIBIT: From Feb. 2 – Feb. 28, Mexican-inspired metal embossments created by students from the Montessori School of Northampton will be displayed at The Green Bean. Students from K-6 created embossed metal designs based on Mexican folk imagery. They began with drawings of designs containing forms found in nature, transferred their designs to aluminum sheets, embossed them by drawing and punching shapes, and added color to highlight elements of their designs. The project was guided by art teacher Barbara Neulinger and fits into the school’s cultural curriculum. This is the third year that The Green Bean has hosted an exhibition of work from the school’s students. 241 Main Street. 584-2326. Northampton, MA.

SHORT STORY CONTEST: The Westfield Athenaeum Library is holding a short story contest. Stories can be about any topic, and submissions will be accepted from January 31st-February 26th. Submissions may be no longer than three pages, and should have been written within the last year. Stories will be judged based on creativity, grammar, presentation, and overall writing skills, and all submissions will become the property of the Boys and Girls library at the Athenaeum. More information is available at the Athenaeum Library website- www.westaeth.org.

JUNIOR SOLAR SPRINT: Are you an educator? Homeschooler? Attend a free Junior Solar Sprint workshop on Tuesday, February 15th from 4-7pm and learn how to lead middle school students through the Junior Solar Sprint experience- a program where kids design, build, and and compete with model solar cars. 950 North Street. www.cetonline.org. 445-4556. Pittsfield, MA.

DOCTOR FOR A DAY: The Hampshire District Medical Society is again sponsoring their annual “Doctor for a Day” program. Juniors and seniors interested in becoming a physician should pick up an application in the Gateway High School Guidance Office in Huntington, for a chance to spend a full day shadowing a real physician! Applications, including two letters of recommendation, are due to the Society by February 18, 2011.

HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW

Hilltown Family Variety ShowTune in every Saturday from 9-10am. Encore episodes are aired every Sunday from 7-8am.

This week on the HFVS is our Black History Month Episode celebrating musical legends, including: Ella Jenkins, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Nat King Cole, Bessie Smith, Little Richard, Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, Ella Fitzgerald, Mahalia Jackson, and many others. Families have several ways to tune in to the Hilltown Family Variety Show:

  • Streaming Audio: Surf on over to ValleyFreeRadio.org on Saturday & Sunday mornings and listen to us live via streaming audio.
  • On Your FM Dial: Tune in to WXOJ 103.3FM if you live near Northampton, MA.
  • Podcast: Listen to the most recent episodes of the Hilltown Family Variety Show anytime you wish! Click here to see our current select of episodes, and be sure to subscribe to our podcast too!

  • WEEKLY LIST OF SUGGESTED EVENTS

    Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

    Suggest an Event | Local Forecast | Free Museum Passes | Playgroups & Family Centers | Movies in the Valley | Movies in the Berkshires | Listen Here

    Events Happening in the Hilltowns | ♦ On-going Events

    Saturday, February 12th, 2011

    First Annual Northampton Ice Art Festival

    Hilltown Family Variety Show6-10am – FAMILY RADIO: Valley Free Radio (WXOJ-LP 103.3FM Northampton, MA) airs 4-hours of commercial-free family programing every Saturday, including the Hilltown Family Variety Show and Spare the Rock. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org.

    8am-12Noon – ICE FISHING: Get outside for the Annual Children’s Ice Fishing Derby on Ashfield Lake for all school aged children. There will be prizes and a spaghetti supper, plus an educational presentation following the supper for the kids. 628-4400 Ashfield, MA (FREE, />$)

    WINTER FARMERS’ MARKETS:

    9am-2pm – Winter Farmers’ Market in the basement of Thornes through April 30th. Food, live music and art. Northampton, MA
    10am-2pm – Winter Farmers’ Market at Amherst Middle School (170 Chestnut St.). Amherst, MA
    10am-2pm – North Amherst Farmers’ Market happens a the Big Blue Barn at SwartzFamiy Farm (11 Meadow St.). www.northamherstmarket.com Amherst, MA
    10:30am-1pm – Springfield Winter Market happens at Forest Park. 2nd & 4th Saturday of each month. www.buylocalfood.org Springfield, MA

    9am-1pm – FAMILY BREAKFAST: Enjoy a locally grown breakfast, proceeds from which benefit the Northampton Survival Center. Visit the Food Shed at Enterprise Farm for a meal of pancakes made from local wheat flour from Four Star Farm, local bacon and sausage from Austin Brothers Farm, and local cider and locally roasted coffee from Pierce Brothers. 72 River Road. 665-8608. www.enterpriseproduce.com. Whately, MA. ($)

    9:30am-4pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURE: Learn about the history of chocolate, and how it became a symbol of Valentine’s Day. Try chocolate cake made from an original recipe from 1824. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. 800-SEE-1830. www.osv.org. Sturbridge, MA. ($$)

    10am- FAMILY CONCERT: The Alchemystics perform at The First Churches of Northampton as part of Nonotuck Community School’s 2nd Annual Winter Concert Series. The band labels themselves as new roots music- the group plays a mixture of reggae, soul, hip hop, and dub. Before the show, students from Easthampton’s SHOW Circus Studio’s Circus Stars Youth Performance Troupe will present a show of tumbling, juggling, and other circus feats! 129 Main Street. 586-5996. http://www.nonotuck.org. Northampton, MA. ($)

    10am – FAMILY CONCERT: Enjoy the music and storytelling of Sarah Pirtle and Erin Berard, founders of the touring program Courage Stories. Some songs and stories inspired by life on the farm! 4 Norman Road. 625-2355. www.redgatefarm.org. Buckland, MA. ($)

    10am – NATURE WALK: Take a nature walk with Ted Watt at Benson Place. Look for tracks, snow fleas, bird songs… 337-5340 Heath, MA (FREE)

    10am-12Noon – ANIMAL STUDIES: Berkshire Sanctuaries is sponsoring a Bird Banding Demo at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary for families w/kids 3yo & older. Use mist nets, band birds, record data, relase birds unharmed. (472 West Mountain Rd.) berkshires@massaudubon.org Lenox, MA (>$)

    10am-12Noon – OPEN HOUSE: Spring Street Preschool with host a Kids’ Party and Preschool Open House with a student art show, bake sale and kids’ activities. http://www.springstreetpreschool.org Amherst, MA (FREE)

    10am-4:30pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURE: Visit Historic Deerfield for the 2011 American Heritage Chocolate Celebration! Enjoy learning all about how delicious chocolate treats are (and once were) made, make Valentines, and take a ride in a horse-drawn carriage. 84 Old Main Street. 774-5581. http://www.historic-deerfield.org. Deerfield, MA. ($$)

    10:30-11:20 – SCIENCE ADVENTURE: Visit the Haskins Center in North Adams for Kitchen Chemistry: Science Fun for Families, a hands-on workshop where children and their parents can explore science through everyday materials found in most every kitchen. Activities will likely be messy, and every child will be able to bring home their own ocean in a jar. Pre-registration required. 210 State Street. 664-4821. www.ccberkshire.org. North Adams, MA. (FREE!)

    11:30am-9pm – ICE SKATING: Outdoor ice pavilion (435 Main Rd.). No skate rentals. 528-1443 x248 Monterey, MA (FREE)

    12Noon – VALENTINE: Family Valentine’s Day celebration at Ventfort Hall (104 Walker St.). Activities through out the day: bonfire, hot cocoa, roasted marshmallows, Nutshell Playhouse in concert, Victoria Tea, “The Might Mysterious Megapuff”, guided tours and more. 637-3206 www.guildedage.org Lenox, MA ($)

    12-2pm – TEEN/TWEEN: Get henna-ed! Professional henna artist Sangita Desai will visit the Meekins Library for a seminar in which participants can learn about the Indian tradition of henna and pick out their own designs to be henna-ed on their hands. Ages 12+, pre-registration requested. 2 Williams Street. 268-7472. www.meekins-library.org. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE!)

    12Noon-6pm – WINTER FEST: Amherst Leisure Services hosts Winterfest 2011. Bring the family to enjoy both indoor and outdoor winter activities a the Cherry Hill Golf Course (323 Montague Rd.). There will be sled dogs, music, kids carnival, cross country ski lessons, fireworks, sledding & tubing, hay rides, food, and much more. www.winterfestamherst.com Amherst, MA ($)

    1pm – STORYTELLING: Author and illustrator Jerry Pinkney shares stories and reflects on how he pieces together tales. Pinkney is a 2010 Caldecott Medal winner. 125 West Bay Road. 658-1100. www.carlemuseum.org. Amherst, MA. (FREE with museum admission!)

    1-3pm – ARTS AND CRAFTS: Get creative with lace, paper, stickers, glitter, etc. at the Dickinson Library! Sponsored by The Friends of the Library, this Valentine-making workshop is open to anyone! 115 Main Street. 498-2455. www.northfieldpubliclibrary.org. Northfield, MA. (FREE!)

    1–3 pm: CRAFTS: Make Your Own Paper at the Berkshire Botanical Garden for families w/kids 5yo+. Learn the craft of paper making from beginning to end, and take home hand-crafted paper for cards, collage, printing or framing. 298-3926 Stockbridge, MA ($$)

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Chocolate in the Hilltowns

    Night of Love and Chocolate!

    GRANDPARENTS AS FACEBOOK FRIENDS

    I just got friended by my dad on Facebook. Me, I got nothing to hide that I would show on Facebook anyway, but then I thought about the nieces who may. I know that one of my nieces told me not to judge her when I friended her, and so I don’t; the stuff she’s doing is way less dangerous than what I was doing at her age!

    So then I started thinking that all grandparents should sign up for Facebook and friend all of their grandchildren. I’m thinking that if every kid had their grandpa as a filter for everything they thought about posting, they would probably keep themselves out of trouble later on when they apply for jobs and wish they hadn’t put those stupid naked pictures of themselves at the last office party on their page. So that’s my thought; I’m still trying to find goodness in Facebook.

    LAND OF TINY STREETS

    Welcome to the Land of Tiny Streets! The more it snows the less space there is for the snow to go and the streets get narrower and narrower up here! My own street in Ashfield, I believe, only passable by one and a half cars at a time. Fortunately we don’t have many cars on this street so we haven’t had a stand-off yet. But even Main Street is down to the two lanes, only, no room for swerving. The other snow-wonder is how icicles know what to do—which way to do. You’ll have all these icicles going straight down and then, all of a sudden you get three snaggle-tooth ones that jut out from the building. Why did they do that? Are they just making a statement? I have one outside my door that suddenly has a curvaceous twist to it. It didn’t have that day before yesterday; what is it up to?

    MR. CHRISTMAS TREE

    Update on Mr. Christmas Tree who I threw out last week: So, he was lying there in the snow at the back door, trying to get back in, looking sad and desperate, when all of a sudden a roof-alanche slid off and buried him! He just has a few plaintive little branches grasping at the air, frozen in time. Poor guy, this whole thing is my fault: I brought him inside, I made him the toast of the living room, I took him out of his natural habitat and warmed him up with lights, made him feel safe and warm and then I PUSHED him out into the snow! Just PUSHED him! I feel bad.

    NIGHT OF LOVE & CHOCOLATE IN THE HILLTOWNS

    Okay! It’s almost Valentine’s Day! And we’re celebrating it this Friday night (2/11/11) with Elmer’s Night of Love and Chocolate (there are so few events that we actually do more than one year that you know if we’re bring it back it’s because it was so good the first time!)!

    And this just in: Chef Jim Dion is coming back to make the dinner portion of our evening! Mary will be out of town this weekend, and so our old buddy Jim is coming back to make the dinner hors d’hoeuvres! (I have no idea how to spell that word and neither does Spellcheck. If you do, let me know before it drives you crazy.)

    Elmer’s Second Annual Night of Love and Chocolate this Friday, Feb 11th beginning at 5pm at the Inn: hors d’houvres and tapas-sized dinners; whatever you want, as much as you want – made by Chef Jim Dion!  Then, Chocolate: Chocolate Mousse Roullade Cake; Flourless Chocolate Layer Cake; Raspberry Ganache Tort; Espresso Ganache Tort; Vanilla Ginger Ganache Tort; Strawberry fondue; Pretzels & cookies fondues; Dark Chocolate Truffles; Habanero Truffles; and Hot Pepper Toffee Popcorn. ($$) – You don’t have to be in love to enjoy this-you can just love chocolate and good company. Call 628-4003 for reservations.


    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Nan Parati - Elmer's StoreNan Parati

    Nan is the proprietor of Elmer’s Store in Ashfield, MA. A New England transplant from the Deep South, Nan shares her southern wit, wisdom and charm in her column, “Notes from Nan.”  nanparati@aol.com

    3rd Annual Handmade Valentine Swap for Western MA Families

    Suggested Events 02/13/10-02/19/10

    Follow Hilltown Families on

    Discover fun and educational events happening this weekend in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

    SUGGEST AN EVENT

    Plenty of Valentine activities happening this weekend for families, including opportunities to learn about the history of Valentine's. See your list of Weekly Suggested Events below. - Click on the image above to learn about the history of Valentine's over at History.com. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

    Suggest an EventIf you have a family friendly event or educational program happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, post your event on our “Suggest An Event” page. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending

    FRIDAY NIGHT IN THE HILLTOWNS

    Nan Parati writes: Local Food Potluck at the Congregational Church in Ashfield this Friday, February 12th @ 6:00pm. Will and I finally attended a Winter Farmer’s Market in Greenfield last Saturday and were delighted! The High School was teaming with customers eager to buy local products from the 30 farms that were selling their carrots, potatoes, apples, greens, meats, jams, juices, pickles, yogurt, and more! We heard a rumor that the next Winter Farmer’s Market will be in Turners Falls, so keep on the lookout for the time and place. This Friday night there is another opportunity to be involved in a locavore activity. The Ashfield Congregational Church is hosting a Local Food Potluck, February 12th at 6:00 pm. The idea is to gather together with other people to share food that was grown locally. So use as many local ingredients as possible in your potluck dish and come and enjoy to flavors of Ashfield!

    MARK YOUR CALENDARS

    FAMILY CONTRA DANCE WITH WILD ASPARAGUS: On Sunday, February 28th, from 2:30-5:30pm, bring the family to the Guiding Star Grange (401 Chapman Street) in Greenfield, home to some of the best contra musicians in the country, for contras, squares & singing! Are you wondering what Contra dancing is? Contra dancing is New England Folk Dancing with lines and reels, and a caller of course! Fiddles, guitars, keyboards, base, bombarde and singing. What’s a bombarde? You’ll have to come and find out. – A family dance is a great way for people of all ages and abilities to learn. $8 adults, $6 students & seniors, $4 kids, under 5 free All proceeds benefit the Greenfield Center School. For more information please call the Center School at 773-1700.

    FEATURED CAMP

    Red Gate Farm in Buckland, MAFEBRUARY FARM CAMP IN THE HILLTOWNS: Winter is always a special time at Red Gate Farm in Buckland, MA. Whether exploring animal tracks in the snow, feeding hay to hungry sheep or warming up inside in a cozy circle to listen to a story after lunch, there is always lots of fun! The farm offers two programs this coming week: Sprouts Vacation Days for kids 4-6yo, and Winter Farm Fun for kids 7-10yo.  Both will be held 02/16-02/18 from 9am-3pm.  Help them care for the animals, go snowshoeing, sledding learn fire building and play great games. Each day will be unique, so come for one day, or all three. Cost is $55 per day or $140 for all three. Discount for members. Deadline to register is Friday, 02/15. Call to reg. 625-9503. www.redgatefarm.org

    • Check out other camps happening in the area on the Hilltown Families Suggest a Camp Bulletin Board.

    BULLETIN BOARD

    SPONSORSHIP, ADVERTISING & ANNOUNCEMENTS: Deliver your message to a large local family based audience while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Advertise your event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement on our Weekly List of Suggested Events. Serious inquiries can email us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com for details.

    Concert: 02/21.  Deadline to win: 02/17HERBAL APPRENTICESHIP IN THE HILLTOWNS: Blazing Star Herbal School in Ashfield, MA is now taking applicants for their Tuesday Apprenticeship for Beginner and Intermediate Students. This innovative program based on becoming a community herbalist by weaving experiential learning about healing herbs with seasonal rhythms and timeless elements of traditional healing. Program begins 04/20/10 from 10am-4pm and ends 02/11. Total Tuition is $1750. Options for a payment plan are available. For more information contact Tony(a) Lemos at (413) 625-6875, tlemos@noho.com. – Blazing Star Herbal School is located in the heart of Western Mass and is dedicated to teaching traditional herbal medicine in a way that supports a more sustainable future for all members of the green world and shows respect for the integrity of nature.

    CELEBRATING LOCAL FARM HEROES THROUGH MUSIC AND SONGWRITING: Three days of music fun, free for children during the February school break. At the Arms Library in Shelburne Falls from 10am-3pm, Mon (2/15), Wed (2/17) & Thurs (2/18).  Children ages 7 to 13 who like singing are welcomed. There will be games, lots of laughter, and we will meet local farmers and write songs about them. Led by Sarah Pirtle, who has directed the Discovery Center for Peace Education since 1992.  To sign up contact Sarah at 625-2355 or email pirtle22@hotmail.com, or sign up at Arms Library at 625-0306. The children will write songs about them to be presented at the public concert on Thurs at 2pm.

    VALENTINE BAKE SALE – The Hilltown Birdbrains 4-H Club will be setting up a Valentine Bake Sale on Saturday, February 13th from 10am-2pm in front of the Tractor Supply (2 College Highway) in Southampton, MA.  Drop by and support the kids of 4-H with a purchase of a sweet for your sweetie.  They will also have handmade Valentine Cards available to go with your sweets.

    Concert: 02/27.  Deadline to win: 02/24Jim Lobley of Ashfield, MA writes: The Ashfield Community Theater is holding open auditions for this season’s production of The Cripple of Inishmaan, a wicked, dark Irish comedy set in 1934 on a remote isle off Ireland’s west coast.  Auditions will be held: 02/21 from 1-4 & 02/23 from 6-9 at the Belding Memorial Library. Performances will be in Ashfield Town Hall on May 28 & 29, and June 4 & 5. All are wheelchair accessible. – There are roles for 4 woman and 5 men, ages 15-80. Previous acting experience is not necessary. The auditions will involve reading scenes from the play in an Irish dialect; dialect coaching will be part of the rehearsal process. We’re also looking for sound crew, a stage manager, etc. For more info email info@acth.org, or call 628.4574 or 628.0084.

    SUPPORT THE WORTHINGTON LIBRARY: Friends of the Worthington Library book sale happens at the town hall from 10-2pm. Donations are welcomed at the town hall leading up to the sale.  Profits support the library.

    MEDIA LITERACY FOR PARENTS AND KIDS: If you watched last weekend’s Superbowl with your kids, you saw a lot of beer commercials. For parents who are trying to delay the age at which their child starts drinking, take a look at the SAMHSA Website on Media Literacy. Parents are children’s most effective teachers on drugs, alcohol and other high-risk behaviors. Doing the 5 simple media literacy steps with your child can help you challenge some of the messages you DON’T want children to take in just yet.

    SUMMER VACATION AT FARM CAMPS:  With the annual February school vacation just days away, many parents are starting to plan summer activities for their children. Several of our local farms are putting together summer day camp opportunities for kids young and old. The CISA has put together a listing on their web site and will update the information throughout the spring as we learn about different options.

    KIDS ICE FISHING DERBY IN THE HILLTOWNS: Ashfield Rod &  Gun Club’s annual children’s ice fishing derby.  This year’s annual children’s ice fishing derby will be held on Saturday, February 13th on Ashfield Lake, from 8am to 12Noon.  All school age children are invited to attend and take part in this fun event.  Prizes will be awarded. After the fishing derby there will be a spaghetti dinner held at Sanderson Academy ($5 for adults).  Following the dinner a presentation will be given by Native American Chief Leroy Truehart at the School cafeteria.  for more info call Joe Miraglia at 828-4400 or Ken Magdycz at 634-5585.


    WEEKLY LIST OF SUGGESTED EVENTS

    Suggest an Event | Rain or Shine? | School Closings and Delays | Free Museum Passes | Family Centers (Ages 0-4) | Movies in the Valley | Movies in the Berkshires

    Events Happening in the Hilltowns

    Saturday – 02/13

    Hilltown Family Variety Show6-10am – FAMILY RADIO: Valley Free Radio (WXOJ-LP 103.3FM Northampton, MA) offers 4-hours of commercial-free family programing every Saturday, including the Hilltown Family Variety Show and Spare the Rock. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org.

    8:15am-4pm – NATIONAL GIRLS & WOMEN IN SPORTS DAY – Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts is hosting this year’s NGWS Day. athletics.mcla.edu North Adams, MA (FREE)

    9:30am-4:30pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Bring th efamily to the Historic Deerfield Museum annual American Heritage Chocolate Celebration.  www.historic-deerfield.org -775-7214 South Deerfield, MA ($)

    10am – OUTDOOR ACTIVITY: Winter Nature Walk at the Hitchcock Center for the Environment. Explore the world of mammal tracks and ways to recognize trees and shrubs in winter. Bring binoculars and dress to be outdoors in the cold. Pre-registration is required. www.hitchcockcenter.org  256-6006 Amherst, MA ($)

    10:30am – KIDS CONCERT: The Nields will be performing at the Jones Library. www.joneslibrary.org 259-3090 Amherst, MA (FREE)

    11am – VALENTINE EVENT: Valentine’s Day Story and Craft Hour with children’s author, Corinne Demas at the Odyssey Bookshop. www.odysseybks.com 534-7307 South Hadley, MA (FREE)

    11am – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Free family day at MASS MoCA.  Hip Hop dance demos, screening of The Way Things Go, photo booth, creative projects for kids, ice cream & cake, and more. www.massmoca.org 662-2111 North Adams, MA (FREE)

    11:30am-3pm – NATIONAL GIRLS & WOMEN IN SPORTS DAY: Presented by Williams College Athletics for girl 6-13yo. Learn from coaches and players in several sport clinics. 597-2366 Williamstown, MA (FREE)

    1-3pm – VALENTINE EVENT: Valentine Crafts at the Wistariahurst Museum. This fun and creative program is appropriate for all ages, inspiring the artist in everyone with hands-on projects from collage to paper-cutting and original crafting of valentines.Learn about the history of Victorian valentines too.  Reservations are suggested. www.wistariahurst.org 322-5660 Holyoke, MA (>$)

    5pm – VALENTINE EVENT: Fancy chocolate Valentine dinner at Elmer’s.  RSVP www.elmersstore.com 628-4003 Ashfield, MA ($)

    5-8pm – ART WALK: Art Walk Easthampton is held the “Second Saturday” of the month. Locations across the city showcase visual, music and performance art in an energetic sampling of local, regional and national talent. All events are free. Parking is free. Art Walk Easthampton is made possible, in part, by a grant from the Easthampton Cultural Council and the support of Mantis Graphics which makes our large, yellow banners. Easthampton, MA (FREE)

    6-8pm – MUSIC: Bread Euphoria will be holding a Bread & Acoustic Jam with local musicians. Come jam, or just come and listen. www.breadeuphoria.org Haydenville, MA (FREE)

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    Suggested Events 02/06/10-02/12/10

    Follow Hilltown Families on

    Discover fun and educational events happening this weekend in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

    SUGGEST AN EVENT

    Ice hockey tournament on Ashfield Lake

    Ice hockey tournament on Ashfield Lake in Ashfield, MA.

    Suggest an Event

    If you have a family-friendly event or educational program happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, post your event on our “Suggest An Event” page. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, location, age appropriateness and costs before attending

    DINNER IN THE HILLTOWNS

    • Saturday in Ashfield at Elmer’s: Jim’s good old BBQ Ribs, Baked Beans, Cole Slaw, Mac and Cheese. 396 Main Street 628-4003
    • Saturday in Cummington at Remington Lodge: Pan-Asian Celebration with sesame pickled vegetables, fresh spring rolls with plum dipping sauce, coconut-lime soup with jasmine rice and pan-fried tofu, shrimp pad Thai with fresh bean sprouts and cilantro and lime meringue tartlets. 21 West Main Street. Dinner served from 6 to 8pm by advance reservation only. Please call 413-634-5493. BYOB

    BULLETIN BOARD

    Amy & Alice of the Old Creamery in Cummington, MA writes: Dear Friends & Neighbors – Warm thanks to those of you who were able to attend the community wide co-op meeting on Sunday. Your enthusiastic participation has given us a glowing green light to take the step of forming a steering committee to move forward in our co-op explorations. Our consultants were in awe. They said, “Do you know what an amazing community you have here?” We said, “We do know!” We’re excited and energized from the meeting. We’ll have an update message to you soon.

    HERBAL APPRENTICESHIP IN THE HILLTOWNS: Blazing Star Herbal School in Ashfield, MA is now taking applicants for their Tuesday Apprenticeship for Beginner and Intermediate Students. This innovative program based on becoming a community herbalist by weaving experiential learning about healing herbs with seasonal rhythms and timeless elements of traditional healing. Program begins 04/20/10 from 10am-4pm and ends 02/11. Total Tuition is $1750. Options for a payment plan are available. For more information contact Tony(a) Lemos at (413) 625-6875, tlemos@noho.com. – Blazing Star Herbal School is located in the heart of Western Mass and is dedicated to teaching traditional herbal medicine in a way that supports a more sustainable future for all members of the green world and shows respect for the integrity of nature.

    HILLTOWN JR OLYMPICS: The 31st annual Hilltown Junior Olympics happens in Sept in Goshen and Chesterfield is in need of a representative from the town.  If anyone is interested in volunteering or learning more, email Janet at jalaroche@verizon.net, or give her a call at 296-4714.

    CYBERBULLYING: Click HERE to download a parent handout on cyberbullying.

    GIRLS & MATH: The Los Angeles Times reports: Female teachers may pass on math anxiety to girls, study finds – Girls have long embraced the stereotype that they’re not supposed to be good at math. It seems they may be getting the idea from a surprising source — their female elementary school teachers. Read more HERE. – Here’s a good article on how to help grow our daughters math confidence at www. daughters.com.

    TWEETS THIS WEEK

    • Is the Media Raising Your Kids? Landmark Kaiser Family Foundation Study Details Media Saturation http://ow.ly/111iq
    • Transition Towns Movement: Training for Transition on Feb. 27-28 at Woolman Hill Retreat Center in Deerfield, MA http://ow.ly/13KV5
    • Hardy Girls Healthy Women Protest American Apparel’s Best Bottom Contest http://ow.ly/13KLZ
    • Crazy Talk! – “Kids’ lingerie” line features photos of young girls on a stripper pole??!! http://ow.ly/13MqJ
    • Hilltown Artist & Artisans Wanted http://ow.ly/13KKm
    • Massachusetts Life Sciences Center Launches Matching Grant Program http://ow.ly/13KJ8
    • Talking to kids about fear of natural disaster http://bit.ly/6DsKfJ
    • Lilly Library in Florence is looking for teens to join their Teen Advisory Board. For more information call Kim at 587-1500.
    • Greenfield Center School will host family fun Open House & Birds of Prey presentation on Sun 02/07 http://ow.ly/10BTq
    • Custom Made Gluten-Free Cakes in Florence, MA at Cup & Top Cafe! http://ow.ly/12Urz
    • Brown Bag supplies a free monthly bag of groceries for seniors 55 & older in Western MA. 247-9738.
    • New web site launched for the Old Creamery Co-op http://ow.ly/12moD
    • Web Recommendation: TEACHER LINGO – A place for teachers to hang out and “lingo.” http://ow.ly/10YOy
    • Check out the list of films showing as part of the Eric Carle Museum Black History Month film Series http://ow.ly/13T8i
    • Follow us on

    WEEKLY LIST OF SUGGESTED EVENTS

    Suggest an Event | Local Forecast | School Closings and Delays | Free Museum Passes | Family Centers (Ages 0-4)

    Events Happening in the Hilltowns

    Saturday – 02/06/10

    Hilltown Family Variety Show6-10am – FAMILY RADIO: Valley Free Radio (WXOJ-LP 103.3FM Northampton, MA) offers 4-hours of commercial-free family programing every Saturday, including the Hilltown Family Variety Show and Spare the Rock. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org.

    7:30am – NATURE PROGRAM: Breakfast and Winter Birds.  Meet at Ozzie’s Restaurant for breakfast and then join others in roadside birding. 655-0112 Hinsdale, MA (FREE)

    9:30-11am – VALENTINE EVENT: Valentine-Making Party at the Eric Carle Museum. Pre-reg 658-1155 www.carlemuseum.org Amherst, MA (>$)

    10-12Noon – NATURE PROGRAM: Bird banding demo at Berkshire Sanctuaries.  637-0320 Lenox, MA (>$)

    10am-2pm – NATURE PROGRAM: Eagles at the Quabbin with Mass Audubon.  Meet at the Quabbin Reservior to look and learn about eagles and other wildlife. 584-3009 Quabbin Reservior

    10am-2pm – VALENTINE: Valentine’s Day Card Making and Box at Michaels. www.michaels.com Hadley, MA (>$)

    10am-2pm – LOCAL FOOD: Greenfield 3rd Annual Winter Farmers’ Market at the Greenfield High School. www.winterfare.org Greenfield, MA

    10am-3pm – CULTURAL EVENT: Celebrate the Chinese New Year with events and book fair sponsored by the Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School at Barnes & Noble. nolarae2@gmail.com Hadley, MA (FREE)

    12Noon-6pm – WINTER ADVENTURES: Indoor and outdoor winter activities for children, families and adults at Winterfest 2010 www.winterfestamherst.com Amherst, MA (>$)

    12Noon-8pm – GRAND OPENING: The hilltown’s very own Bread Euphoria will be hosting thier official grand opening at the new cafe space.  Bring the family and come enjoy free cake and music. www.breadeuphoria.org Haydenville, MA (FREE)

    1pm – MUSIC:  Elizabeth Mitchell & Family will perform at the Eric Carle Museum. www.carlemuseum.org Amherst, MA (>$)

    2-4pm – WINTER ADVENTURES: Post-Ground Hog Day Celebration: Children’s Winter Adventure at Miller’s Forest Tract. Ages 6-11 532-1631 Monson, MA (Free, Donation)

    2-4pm – VALENTINE: Valentine cookie demonstration Michaels.  Learn how to decorate sweet treats for V Day! www.michaels.com Hadley, MA (>$)

    2:30pm – YOGA: Free children’s yoga class at Prakasa Yoga Studio’s Open House Party. 268-7151 www.prakasayoga.com Goshen, MA (FREE)

    6:30pm – MUSIC: The Suzuki Talent Education Partnership (STEP) invites you to the first-ever STEP benefit concert, “Music of the Heart,” at Faith United Church. 734-4458 Springfield, MA ($)

    6:30-10pm – FAMILY DANCE: Sweetheart Family Polka Night with Legendary Polka Band The Eddie Forman Orchestra.  Free babysitting. 665-1151 www.cafesun.org Sunderland, MA ($)

    Read the rest of this entry »

    2nd Annual Handmade Valentine Swap for Western MA Families

    Handmade Valentine Swap for Western MA Families

    Handmade Valentine Card Swap

    Hilltown Families Valentine Card Swap, 2009 (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

    Last year I organized a handmade Valentine swap with friends and members of the Hilltown Families Listserv, and we had so much fun that we’re doing it again!

    A handmade Valentine swap gives local families an opportunity to be creative together while connecting with other families in Western Massachusetts.  Through the swap, participating families mail out handmade Valentine cards to ten assigned addresses, and in return, they receive cards from ten other participating families.  The cards can be handmade by any combination of child and adult, so if you’re kids aren’t completely up to the task, or if an adult would like to make their own design, there’s flexibility.

    Deadline to sign up is next Saturday, January 30st by midnight with the info below. On Monday (02/01/10) I will email your assigned names/address of participants you would send your handmade cards to.  You would be kindly requested to send your Valentines off by Feb. 7th.

    If interested in participating, email the following information to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com by midnight 01/30/10:

    • Name of child/family:
    • Mailing address:

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    New England History and Chocolate are Celebrated at the Historic Deerfield Museum in February

    Bring the Family to the Historic Deerfield Museum
    7th Annual American Heritage Chocolate Celebration
    February 13th, 2010

    Looking to satisfy both the history buff and the sweet tooth in you? There is no better way than to enjoy a fun-filled day with sweet chocolate aromas, captivating lectures, and most important-chocolate treats! The seventh annual American Heritage Chocolate Celebration at Historic Deerfield on February 13, 2010, is an exploration of everything chocolate including a sumptuous array of gourmet chocolate desserts, foods, and beverages.

    The 2010 Chocolate Celebration will include a range of informed presentations on the history of the favorite food including a special presentation by Curator of Historic Interiors, Amanda Lange. Lange’s talk titled Sweet Concoctions: A History of Chocolate in Early America will feature her research used in the recent chocolate anthology Chocolate: History, Culture, and Heritage released earlier this year by by Wiley Press.

    In addition, Bob Heiss, food professional and owner/proprietor of Cooks Shop Here in Northampton, MA, will give a special talk and tasting titled Exploring and Tasting a Favorite Treat. And Eric Whitacre, Executive Director of the Confectioners Mill Preservation Society, will speak about his efforts to create a museum devoted to the history of chocolate mills in early America.

    To really have the full chocolate sensory experience, visitors can visit with Susan McLellan Plaisted, Proprietress of Heart to Hearth Cookery, as she roasts cacao beans over the open hearth and grinds them on a stone metate.

    Historic Deerfield guides will also present highlights tours of the Museum’s Attic focusing on collections associated with the preparation and serving of stimulating beverages, such as tea, coffee and chocolate. See master silversmith Steve Smithers as he works to recreate a silver chocolate pot from the Historic Deerfield collection. Taste American Heritage Chocolate, and create your own Valentine using decorative papers.

     

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Dawning of the Age of Aquarius in Ashfield

    Notes from Nan
    BY HF Contributing Writer, Nan Parati

    When the Moon is in the seventh House and Jupiter aligns with Mars, then love will rule the planets and peace will steer the stars.

    Guess what this Saturday is? It is the Dawning of the Age of Aquarius, Age of Aquariuhhhhhs! Aquar-ri-uhhhhhhs! A-QUAR-ri-uhhhhhhs! At 7:25, to be exact.

    So get up early, find your old love beads and come to Elmer’s for our Dawning of the Age of Aquarius breakfast! We will open at 7:15 am JUST for this event. This was not my idea; it was the idea of some of our customers, and so I made them ask Chef Jim if he would come in early for this event. (I could not IMAGINE he would agree to it) but he did and so, the place to be to usher in the next thousand years of Love and Peace is Elmer’s Store on Saturday morning. At 7:15. AM.

    My sort of beatnik parents took me to see Hair when I was in the ninth grade and it was GREAT! Nekkid people and all! (Remember that? They had the 6 second naked scene?) By the way, you must wear clothing to breakfast that morning, unless you look like a young and fabulous Broadway actor in great shape. I think the Double Edge actors can come in their nekkid costumes, but I think everyone else should wear clothes to breakfast. Double Edge actors are encouraged to attend nekkid, in fact, come to think of it. Read the rest of this entry »

    HFVS Valentine’s Day Episode with Guest DJ, Uncle Rock (Radio Show/Podcast)

    Listen to Podcast:

    VALENTINE’S DAY EPISODE
    with Guest DJ, Uncle Rock

    Hilltown Family Variety Show
    WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
    Northampton, MA
    Tuesday evening @ 7pm

    Feb. 12th, 2008

    New Podcasts ♦ Archived PodcastsSubscribe to Podcast
    Radio ♦ FacebookTwitter


    Uncle Rock in Florence, MA. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

    PLAYLIST:

    • Beatles – “All You Need Is Love” [Love]
    • Art Garfunkel – “I Only Have Eyes For You” [Break Away]
    • Uncle Rock – “Everyday” (by Buddy Holly) [Live in Studio]
    • Dan Zanes and Friends – “Jump Up” [Family Dance]
    • Van Morrison – “Have I Told You Lately” [The Best of Van Morrison]
    • Woody Gutherie – “My Dolly” [Nursery Days]
    • Uncle Rock – “You Look Good in the Rain” [Live in Studio]
    • Dog on Fleas – “Honey Baby” [When I Get Little]
    • Uncle Rock – “Love in My Food” [Live in Studio]
    • Beatles – “Because” [Love]

    Following his performance last weekend at the Florence Civic Center, Uncle Rock (www.UncleRock.com) came on down to the radio station to do a Valentine’s Day Episode. Uncle Rock performed three songs live in the studio. Click here to listen to the last time he was our guest (back in July when it was 110-degrees in the production studio!).

    If you’re looking to pick up a copy of Uncle Rock U, stop by Cup & Top in Florence, MA, or click here to order a copy from CD Baby. Or you can win it …

    THIS WEEK’S CONTEST

    This week we’re offering the chance to win Uncle Rock’s newest album Uncle Rock U, along with the t-shirt he submitted to the HFVS T-shirt Review:

    “Heavy duty.” wrote Rae (mom). “Subversive & nasty. Way cool!” commented Bill (dad). Not the reaction I would assume Uncle Rock was looking for when he decided to use a drawing his son made of his daddy for a t-shirt design. But his local fans still loved it simply because it was an Uncle Rock t-shirt. “I love Uncle Rock!” beamed Persephone (age 5). “I have this shirt at home!” said Kiah (age 4) of Ashfield, MA.

    HOW TO WIN: For your chance to win, simply post us a comment below. We’ll randomly draw a winner from those who leave a comment. IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is 02/19/08 @ 7pm (EST).

    CONGRATULATIONS TO:

    Ellen Ferris from Hadley, MA, for winning last weeks contest. She will receive Steve Week’s latest CD, Alphabet Songs Volume III (Rabbit Run), and the original, one-of-kind t-shirt SW’s submitted to the HFVS T-Shirt Review.

    Broken (Sugar Cookie) Hearts

    BROKEN (SUGAR COOKIE) HEARTS
    by Sienna Wildfield

    I took my daughter to a late afternoon cooking class at Whole Foods in Hadley for Valentine’s Day to make Valentine Cookies for her Daddy. When we arrived, the tables in the classroom were lined with butcher paper and individual decorating stations were set up for each student. Ramekins of colorful dime store candies were set out, and the temptation to stick little fingers into these bowls had all the kids on the edge of their stools while waiting for the class to begin.Once everyone arrived and settled in, heart shaped sugar cookies, the smooth blank slates for their little love creations, were passed out, and the decorating began.

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    Suggested Events 02/09/08 – 02/15/08

    LOCAL WOMEN TAKE WINTER TO THE MAT WITH FUN FAMILY EVENTS!

    Cup & Top turns 2!I don’t know about you, but for me the hardest time of the year to be living in New England is the next six weeks (which is right up there with black fly season!). Since the first snow fall in early November, winter has been a cold, dark and sometime deary companion. Fortunately there are many mothers and women in our community who are enriching our winter days with a wealth of opportunities to get out and about with our families this weekend:

    • Helen Kahn from Cup & Top is having a birthday party and everyone is invited! Cup & Top is turning two and she’s throwing a shin dig with music, art, cake and more.
    • If you’re looking to get outdoors, Lauren Abend is hosting the Path of the Otter nature program for kids right here in the hilltowns!
    • And Marla BB, from Hilltown Wilderness Adventures, is offering another outdoor opportunity with dog sled rides for families, also here in the hilltowns! It was a big hit last week.
    • Eva Christoph from the Art Bridge will be hosting their second Saturday potluck performance in Shelburne. Get creative and move your body!
    • Nan Parati from Elmer’s is throwing a concert and serving up some great Cajun food. in Ashfield. Get out and celebrate Mardi Gras!
    • Tony(a) Lemos will be offering a culture through art workshop at the Children’s Art Museum in Shelbrune Falls (co-sponsored by Hilltown Families), followed by a kids multi-language concert. Get a cultural dose of Russian and Spanish fun!
    • Laurie Broussard & Laura Cayer from the Pop Rockets will be jamming it up at the Children’s Museum in Holyoke with their band for the museum family fun night. These ladies are so fun!

    Wow! What a great list of fun events and powerhouse women! Have a wonderful weekend!

    SUBMIT AN EVENT

    If you have a family-friendly event or educational program happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, or would like to submit your event to the Hilltown Families calendar of Suggested Events, email Sienna at swildfield@juno.com, or post your event on our community bulletin board. Comments are warmly welcomed!

    Local forecast | Get directions | Free Museum Passes | School Closings & Delays

    Events Happening in the Hilltowns
    The following key represents the sum cost of one adult and one child:
    (>$) Under $10; ($) Between $10-$19; ($$) Between $20-$44; ($$$) Over $45

    Saturday – 02/09

    8am – FAMILY RADIO – (Air Waves) While traveling around town, tune-in to WXOJ 103.3 FM in Northampton, MA, from 8-10am to hear fabulous family-friendly music on Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child . [All ages] (Free)

    8am & 9:15am – KIDS BASKETBALL – (Worthington) Throughout the winter months, the Worthington Recreation Department is offering co-ed basketball program for kids at the town hall. Grades 1-2 begin at 8am. Grades 3-4 begin at 9:15am. No registration is necessary. 413.238.5500 [Ages 6-9] (Free)

    10am – 6pm – BIRTHDAY PARTY – (Florence) Cup & Top is turning 2! Come celebrate their reaching the toddler stage with a day full of free events. At 10am, Northampton’s Elena Ciampa and Russ Neiman will perform spanish & latin music for the kids! From 1pm – 3pm: Rhymes with Orange cartoonist Hilary Price book signing! And from 4pm – 6pm: Art Opening for Cummington Artist Leni Fried with live music by Cummington’s Radio Free Earth! They will also unveil their whimsical mural that Leni painted for the cafe playspace! [Families] (Free)

    10am – Noon – VALENTINE’S DAY – (Holyoke) Join artist Marjorie Latham for a creative, hands-on workshop on the art of crafting valentines at the Wistariahurst Museum. 413.322.5660 [Families] (>$)

    10am – CHOCOLATE HISTORY – (Deerfield) Take the kids to learn about the history and making of chocolate at the Historic Deerfield Museum for their American Heritage Chocolate Celebration. Get a jump on your Valentine’s Day festivities while you join fellow “chocoholics” for a day filled with chocolate treats and historical facts. A special focus this year will be on American Heritage Chocolate, a re-creation of colonial American chocolate produced by the Historic Division of Mars, Inc. [Families] (Borrow a museum pass from your local library, $)

    10am – Noon – NATURE EXPLORATIONS – (Easthampton) Tracking at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. Identifying and following an animal track can teach us a lot about the animals that live in our area and their behavior. The forest is full of signs of wildlife. We will learn to read these tracks and signs, which provide both mysteries and some answers. Dress appropriately for the weather, since we will be walking in the forest. Registration is required, unless otherwise noted. 413.584.3009 [Ages 5-12] ($)

    10am-1pm – NATURE PROGRAM – (Ashfield) The Path of the Otter, the series of three Saturday earth awareness and nature exploration classes begins. Click HERE for program details. [Ages 5-7] ($$$)

    11am-7pm – WINTER FEST – (Amherst) Indoor and outdoor activities for children, families and adults at the Cherry Hill Golf course. It’s a go snow or no snow. They will have plenty of non-snow related activities for everyone. All activities are included with your admission fee. Click here for more info. [Families] ($)

    11am – 8pm – FAMILY FREE DAY AT MASS MOCA – (North Adams) A festive family affair with projects for the kids, demos, films, tours, ice cream, and more. 413.MoCA.111

    Noon – 4pm – MUSHING – (Goshen) Bring the family to DAR State Park for a fun hands-on afternoon demonstration. Dog sled rides will be offered. There is also ice skating on the lake, so bring your ice skates. Dress for the weather. For more information call Hilltown Wilderness Adventures at 413.296.0187. [Families] ($)

    2pm – STORYTELLING – (Holyoke) Rivers, Mountains & Legends: An Afternoon of Storytelling. The Wistariahurst Museum welcomes long-time storytellers Dan Shanahan, Megan Moore and Carla Bee in the telling of stories that celebrate the earth and all of its creatures! All three are founding members of Boston’s Stone Soup Poets and Drumlin, which is a collaborative arts ensemble. 413.322.5660 [Families] ($)

    4pm-6:50pm – ICE SKATING – (Amherst) There will be a public skate at the Mullins Center Ice Rink. Skate rentals available. 413.545.3990 [Families] ($)

    4pm – 7pm – FAMILY FUN NIGHT & KIDS CONCERT – (Holyoke) The Children’s Museum at Holyoke will be hosting their 2nd annual “For the Love of the Museum” affair. There will be crafts, food, live music with live music by the Pop Rockets, A2Z Yo-yo team and kids self-defense demo, and more. 413.625.8275 [Families] ($)

    6pm – PERFORMANCE POTLUCK – (Shelburne) Art Bridge will be hosting their first Saturday Performance Potluck. Bring a dish to share and come enjoy music, dancing, performance and art. 413.625.8275 [Families] (Donation, $)

    7pm – PERFORMANCE – (Amherst) Cirque Sublime will be at the Mullins Center on the UMass Campus. Click here for more information. [Families] ($$)

    7:30pm – MARDI GRAS CONCERT – (Ashfield) Eilen Jewell concert at Ashfield’s Town Hall with cajun food by Elmer’s. Click here to read more. Costume optional. [Families] ($$)

    Read the rest of this entry »

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