Suggested Events 03/29/08-04/04/08

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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 community bulletin board.

Local forecast | Get directions | Free Museum Passes | Family Centers (Ages 0-4)

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 – 03/29

7am – 10am – FAMILY RADIO – (Air Waves) While traveling around town, tune-in to The River from 7-9am or 103.3 FM from 8-10am to hear fabulous family-friendly music on Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child . [All ages] (Free)

9:30am-Noon – ARTS & CRAFTS – (Amherst) Umass Office of Family Resources Presents: A Magical Spring Morning with snacks, a concert with Aric Bieganek and an Art Cycles Craft Program at the UMass Amherst Student Union Building in the Cape Cod Lounge, (First Floor to the right on main entrance). cshrc@stuaf.umass.edu [Families] (Free)

9:30pm-4:30pm – HISTORY OF MEN’S FASHIONS – (Deerfield) The Historic Deerfield Museum will be hosting Clothes Make the Man: The Colonial Gentleman in New England. Eighteenth-century gentlemen were very stylish and impressive. Take your family to see recent acquisitions of men’s costumes, as well as the “Freedom Suit” owned by Jacob Brown (1736-1816) from the Concord Museum that illustrate men’s fashions during the 1700s and to learn about the history. On view through August 17, 2008, in the Flynt Center of Early New England Life. [All Ages] ($)

10am-Noon – PARENTING WORKSHOP – (Florence) Beyond Praise and Punishment – How to teach children self-esteem and self-control, offered by Sarah Getoff, M.Ed., LMHC to benefit the Nonotuck Community School. Click here for more information. [Parents, Childcare provide] ($$)

10am-2:30pm – CHILDBIRTH CLASS – (Chesterfield) Click here for more information. (Free)

11am-5pm – MUSIC & ART – (Leverett) Go, Kids Art, Go! happens at Leverett Craft and Arts for a day of music, stories, art, workshops, face painting, and more. Musicians include THE POP ROCKETS (at 2:30pm), Dennis Caraher, Leticia Davies and Sarah McKee. There will also be theater with the Rainbow Players, and African dance with Umoja Too. 413.253.9265 [Families] (Free)

Noon – 4pm – HISTORY OF SWEETNERS – (Deerfield) The Historic Deerfield Museum will be hosting Sweet! During this maple sugar season, take the family to learn the history and science behind three favorite sweeteners: maple syrup, sugar, and honey. Watch open hearth cooks prepare a variety of dishes with these sweeteners. Understand the science of sugaring and participate in a maple syrup tasting. Learn all about how and why bees produce honey. Make a recipe book and honey-scented candle to take home. Sample syrup, honey, and sugar and cast your vote – which is sweetest? [All Ages] ($)

10am-5pm – GRAND OPENING – (Pittsfield) The Berkshire Museum invites everyone to the grand opening of their new hall, Innovation. [All Ages] (Free)

3pm – BOB IN CONCERT – (Northampton) Smith orchestra features Bob from “Sesame Street” and the Amherst Ballet for a program that includes “Peter and the Wolf” and Sesame Street” favorites at John M. Green Hall, Smith College. NBOtickets.com 413.586.8686 [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] ($)

5:30pm-8:30pm – VERNAL POOLS – (Easthampton) Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary will be hosting The Big Night, an enchanted family evening with guided tours that will leave the nature center every 15 minutes to travel a 45-minute lantern-lit forest trail where participants will meet costumed characters from “vernal pools.” Vernal pools are spring ponds that dry up in the heat of summer. These pools are the only places where animals such as spotted salamanders, wood frogs, and fairy shrimp can be found. Meet some of these critters and learn about their lives through short animated and humorous skits. Indoors learn more about vernal pools through games and from live pond critters. In the event of heavy rain an adapted program will be held indoors. 413.584.3009 [Ages 5 & old with a chaperone] ($$)

7:30pm – EARTH HOUR CONCERT – (Cummington) Hey parents, come out and see hilltown parent Sarah Stockwell’s “Earth Hour” Concert at Cummington Community House. Click here to read more. [Adults] ( >$)

8pm – EARTH HOUR – (Worldwide/Northampton) Lights will go out all over the world (or at least in our time zone) for an hour in observance of Earth Hour and there will be community gathering at Pulaski Park in Northampton. To participate in the lights out effort, all you have to do is unplug for an hour (or more) on Saturday. This is a simple and effective way to show the power of small actions taken on a large scale. Local organizers have suggested we go one step further, and replace our conventional light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs when we turn them back on to keep the benefits and energy savings going beyond the single hour. Just think of the fun you could have with your family: eat a candlelight dinner, read ghost stories with your kids, have a candlelit music jam, go for a night walk, get out a star chart and star gaze, go to Pulaski Park in Northampton for a community gathering. [All Ages] (Free)

8pm – FORENSIC ANTHROPOLOGY – (TV) The History Channel presents Save Our History: Written in Bone. Many students today are familiar with the wide variety of sources historians use to retrace the past, from newspaper articles to government documents to first person testimonies. But Save Our History: Written in Bone reveals a source few of us may have considered: the human skeleton. From the discovery of six new graves at the site of the early 17th century Jamestown colony, to the iron coffin holding an unknown 19th century boy found in contemporary Washington, D.C., to the wreckage at the Branch Davidian complex in Texas, This documentary provides students with an introduction to the unique field of forensic anthropology, giving them insights into the methods employed by expert researchers as they attempt to retrace the past. Examining the contemporary applications of forensic anthropology in criminal investigations, this program also introduces students to the many important applications of forensics and related fields. [Ages 10 & older] (Free)

Sunday – 03/30

Michael Young11am & 2pm – FAMILY CONCERT – (Williamstown) Ralph’s World will be performing at the Sterling & Francine Clark Art Institute. 413.458.2303. [Families]($)

Noon-2pm – BIRDS & EGGS – (Springfield) There will be a “Bird Egg-stravaganza” at Forest Park’s zoo, including an egg hunt, activities for the kids and more. [Families] (TBA)

Noon – ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARADE – (Holyoke) Mummer Parade. Click here for more information. [All Ages] (Free)

Noon – 1:50pm – ICE SKATING – (Amherst) There will be a public skate at the Mullins Center Ice Rink. Skate rentals available. 413.545.3990 [Families] ($)

Noon-5pm – GRAND OPENING – (Pittsfield) The Berkshire Museum invites everyone to the grand opening of their new hall, Innovation. [All Ages] (Free)

1:30pm-4:30pm – CARING FOR RABBITS – (Leverett) Are the kids nagging you for a pet rabbit? Here your chance for the family to learn how to care for angora rabbits at Winterberry Farm. Learn how-to care, handle, feed, house and more. 413.548.3940 (Families) ($$)

2pm – DANCE CONCERT – (Northampton) Just for Kicks: Members of ten area dance companies and schools will present “Just for Kicks,” their semi-annual benefit performance for the Northampton Center for the Arts. The dance concert will feature: Academy of Ballet Arts; Cadance; East St. Dance Center; Gervais Dance; Mass Academy of Ballet; NEDQ Hip Hop; NEDQ Performance Troupe; Northampton School of Dance; Terpsichore Ensemble and The Dance Project. 413.584.7327 [All Ages] ($)

2pm – HISTORY OF TEXTILE – (Deerfield) The Historic Deerfield Museum presents their Winter Lecture Series: The Basics: Linen and Cotton. Come to the White Church Community Center where Diane Fagan Affleck, Director of Interpretation, American Textile History Museum, will present the final talk in the series “Celebrating the Fiber Arts.” [Ages 10 & older] (Free)

4pm – FILM FESTIVAL – (Chicopee) Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival hosts the famous children’s opera Brundibar, presented by Commonwealth Opera at Elms College. Click here for more info. [Ages 6 & up] (TBA)

Monday – 03/31

1pm-4pm – HOMESCHOOL PROGRAM – (Easthampton) Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary will begin their Spring Homeschool Program. This eight-week session is for children who enjoy and want to learn more about nature. Each week will be a different theme, which will be explored through outdoor discovery and project time. Each session includes social time along with snack time (children bring snacks). 413.584.3009 [Ages 5-10] ($$$)

4pm-5pm – SIGN-UP NOW – OUTDOOR ADVENTURES – (Chesterfield) The next session for the Outdoor Adventures for Kids begins next week in the Hilltowns at the Chesterfied Base Camp. Through age appropriate activities, young kids can explore their surrounding environment and learn about our ecology through indoor and outdoor activities and games. Click here for more information. 413.296.4249 [Ages 5-7]

7pm-9pm – LAUGHTER YOGA – (Northampton) Bring your older kids (or just sneak away) to the Forbes Library to practice Laughter Yoga. Laughter Yoga is a worldwide social movement (non-religious, non-sectarian, non-political) that aims to promote world peace through laughter. It is based on the philosophy of “acting happiness” and is a physically oriented technique, not a mental practice. Laughter Yoga does not use yoga postures, physical exercises or comedy, only simple breathing techniques, eye contact, and childlike playfulness to elicit laughter, appropriate for all ages and all levels of physical capability. Participants who bring young children will be asked to have children play outside of the workshop space during a brief meditation towards the end of the session. Pre-registration required. Please be willing to laugh with strangers and have fun. No fragrances! Bring a blanket or mat, water bottle, comfortable 413.587.1011 [All Ages] (Free)

Tuesday – 04/01

APRIL FOOL’S DAY

10am-11:30am – FATHERS GROUP – (Amherst) Please come to talk about fathers’’ issues, meet other dads and have coffee with us at this drop-in fathers’ group. You will be able to find out any common issues you face and just talk with other dads. Held at the Amherst Family Center in the basement of the Unitarian Church at 121 North Pleasant St. in the center of Amherst, entrance is at the back of the building. Childcare provided. [Free] (Father’s)

10:15am-12:15pm – POSTPARTUM STRESS SUPPORT GROUP – (Northampton) Every Tuesday there is a drop-in support group at 56 Vernon Street. Free child care and snacks. A welcoming group for all mothers to share the adjustment to motherhood, especially those experiencing postpartum stress, anxiety or depression. Find support, connection with other women. 413.253.8990 [Mothers & their children] (Free)

7pm – FAMILY RADIO – (Air Waves) Tune-in between bath and bedtime to the Hilltown Families very own radio show, the Hilltown Family Variety Show, on WXOJ LP 103.3 FM, Valley Free Radio out of Northampton, MA. www.valleyfreeradio.org. [Families] (Free)

9pm – ASTRONOMY – (TV) The History Channel presents The Universe: Nebulas. The Universe series offers an epic exploration of the universe and its mysteries, providing an in-depth analysis from the planets to the stars to the edge of the known. In this one hour episode entitled Nebulas, viewers will take a tour through the “Art Gallery of the Galaxy” and view what are considered the crown jewels of the heavens. Nebulas are mysterious clouds of gas that are not classified as stars, planets, moons or asteroids; nearly invisible to the naked eye, astronomers use the most sophisticated techniques to catch a glimpse of these cosmic wonders. Cutting-edge computer graphics and expert interviews help students further understand nebulas and their unique qualities. Educators may want to use clips from this program to help students visualize nebulas and analyze their significance within our galaxy. [Ages 10 & older] (Free)

Wednesday – 04/02

3:30pm-5pm – EDUCATOR MEETING – (Pittfield) Educator Reception at the Berkshire Museum. Click here for more information. [Adults] (Free)

7pm – PEACE PERFORMANCE – (Northampton) At the Academy of Music in Northampton the festival teams up with the Springfield Symphony Youth Orchestra to present Music for Peace. Click here for more information. [Ages 10 & up] (TBA)

Thursday – 04/03

7pm – ECO-INFORMATIONAL MEETING – (Amherst) Hey PV families, come to the RideBuzz Organizational Meeting and Community Forum at the Jones Library. Click here for more information. [Adults] (Free)

Open till 8pm – LOCAL LIBRARY – (Williamsburg) Did you know the Meekins Library stays open until 8pm every Thursday? A great thing to have in the winter months. Take the kids in their PJ’s and spend time at the library before bed time reading stories or getting help with homework. [Everyone] (Free)

Friday – 04/04

11am-1pm – HOMESCHOOL ICE SKATING – (Amherst) There will be a homeschool skate at the Mullins Center Ice Rink. Skate rentals available. 413.545.3990 [Families] ($)

4pm-7pm – FAMILY NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM – (Amherst) Storytime at 5:30 pm and Film at 6:15 pm. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art offers families the opportunity to meet, eat, and enjoy all of the Museum’s regular public programs and special exhibitions at a time convenient for you! First Fridays @ The Carle invites visitors to head to the Museum after school/work to enjoy a storytime in the Reading Library, drop by the Galleries, take in a short film in the Auditorium, and create a masterpiece in the Art Studio . . . all before bedtime! 413.658.1100[Families] (Free w/museum pass. Borrow museum pass from your local library.)

5pm – COMMUNITY DINNER – (Ashfield) Elmer’s invites community members to come together to share dinner and conversation every Friday evening. Click here for menu 413.628.4003 [Families] ($)

6:00pm – LIVE MUSIC – (Haydenville) Blue House Cafe. [All Ages] ($)

7pm – CHORUS – (Amherst) The Leverett Community Chorus and the Spirit of the Hills Intergenerational Chorus in concert together at the Amherst Regional Middle School auditorium, located at 170 Chestnut Street, Amherst. Anne Louise White and Penny Schultz are the much-beloved leaders of the respective groups; they share a commitment to following a blossoming tradition of localized, intergenerational community choruses. 413.367.9761 [Families] (Donation/$)

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