Suggested Events for Jan 7th-13th, 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

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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.

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BEST BETS

On Saturday, Jan 7th from 1-3pm – OUTDOOR ART ADVENTURES: Explore the outdoors at The Clark and create a multisensory art experience or a temporary installation!  Dress warmly.  413-458-2303.  225 South Street.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE)

On Sunday, Jan 8th at 3pm – MARIONETTE SHOW: The Tanglewood Marionettes perform “The Dragon King” at Berkshire Trail Elementary School! The show tells the tale of a wise grandmother who ventures to the bottom of the sea to find the dragon king and convince him to return to land- it is colorful and visually stimulating! Sponsored by the Cummington Family Center. 2 Main Street. Cummington, MA. (DONATION)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

On Saturday, Jan 14th at 11am and 1pm – MARIONETTE SHOW: The Hartsbrook Marionettes present, “The Swan Geese” at the Eric Carle Museum.  Based on a traditional Russian tale, the show tells the story of a little girl in search of her brother.  413-685-1100.  125 West Bay Road.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

Later on Saturday, Jan 14th at 4pm – BASKETBALL: It’s Youth Basketball Day at UMass!  All kids who participate in youth basketball can get tickets for half price and will be entered for a chance to participate in contests at the game.  The Minutemen will be playing against St. Joseph’s at the Mullins Center.  413-577-0340. 200 Commonwealth Avenue.  Amherst, MA.  ($)

On Sunday, Jan 15th 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

PARENTS' NIGHT OUT: Find out how you can enter to win tickets to see Patty Larkin at the Ashfield Town Hall on Saturday, Jan 14th!

SATURDAY CLASSES FOR FAMILIES: Making Art and Dance Together – Begins January 14! – Two fun-filled  activities come together! Join dancer and choreographer, Laura Pravitz, at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA, as she leads children and their caregivers through creative movement inspired by the art in the galleries. This  activity will be followed by art making in the Art Studio with artist/  educator Meghan Burch. (Class size 6 – 12) Ages 3 – 7 with caregiver, Saturdays,  January 14, 21, and 28, 9:00 – 10:30 am, $90 per pair  (Members $80), $36 each additional child (up to 2 additional children per adult)  Registration required. For more information or to register visit www.carlemuseum.org/register.

BIRTHING SUPPORT: Free Film Screening: “DOULA! The Ultimate Birth Companion,” a documentary showing three positive, doula-supported births, as well as the work of postpartum doulas who support families with new babies. Come see how a doula can help you have a safer, more comfortable, happier birth day! Sunday, January 15th, 4:00 PM at the Frances Crowe Community Room, Media Education Foundation, 60 Masonic St., Northampton. Sponsored by Green River Doula Network: www.greenriverdoulas.org

CIRCUS ARTS CLASSES: A new session of week day kids’ circus classes will begin on January 7th at SHOW Circus Studio in Easthampton, MA. Children will work on trapeze, fabric, juggling, tumbling, human pyramids, tight wire, rolla bolla, globe & more. Circus Arts is a great way to increase self esteem, have fun, get in shape, & improve focus.  Classes are available for age groups 5-7, 8-11 & 12-16. Every session will focus on 2 aerials/ground acts & will end with a final presentation for friends & families. With three levels of classes, there is always room to grow & improve! Call 413-527-6901 for more information. Registration is available online at www.showcircusstudio.com  – Not sure about circus? Try a free trial classes on Jan. 7! See online for more details.

HEALTH & WELLNESS PROGRAM: Start the New Year off right with a commitment to your family’s health & wellness! Beginning Jan 24th, Craig Fear of Pioneer Valley Nutritional Therapy will be offering a 12-week group wellness/weight loss program rooted in local and traditional foods in Easthampton. GET AT THE ROOTS isn’t just about weight loss, it’s about getting the body healthy without dieting or calorie restriction. It can help parents not only with their own health issues but also with their children’s health. Many kids health issues such as ADHD, obesity, depression & allergies can be helped via nutrition. Anyone with a chronic health challenge will benefit! For more info visit www.pvnutritionaltherapy.com. Contact craig@pvnutritionaltherapy.com 413-559-7770.

APPLICATIONS WELCOMED: 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, our upcoming Kindergarten Open Houses, or to arrange a visit to campus, call 413-774-7061 www.bement.org.

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.

Swansea Benham Bleicher, Director of the Northampton Parents Center, writes: “The Northampton Parents Center is having its annual Preschool Fair, Thursday, January 12th, at the Parents Center from 9:30 to 11:00 am.  Snow date is January 19th.  Representatives from local preschools will be on hand with information and to answer questions.  This event is free of charge.  Located in the lower level of Edwards Church at the corner of Main and State Streets in Northampton — entrance on State Street.  Everyone is welcome!  For more information go to the Parents Center website: www.northamptonparentscenter.org.”

TRANSITION TOWNS: A new group, Transition WESTFIELD, will be having an organizational meeting on Tuesday, January 10th at 7pm at the Westfield Athenaeum.  The purpose of the group is to discuss sustainability and community resilience and to identify and work on projects that will help the community within Westfield to thrive.  During the meeting, the group will discuss the Transition Handbook: From Oil Dependency to Local Resilience (copies are available through local libraries).  The Transition movement is active in communities both locally and nationally, and the movement’s goals focus on communities developing independence and becoming more sustainable.  For more information on Transition WESTFIELD, contact Christopher Lindquist at 413-568-0638.  Anyone is welcome to attend the meeting- have your ideas heard, give input, and become involved in a great cause.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
Jan 7th-13th, 2012

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter

Events Happening in the Hilltowns | ♦ On-going Events

Saturday, Jan 7th, 2012

"I’ve only recently discovered Hilltown Families on Facebook, but we’ve already checked out the Northampton First Night, lots of “school vacation” events, the winter farm markets, puppet shows, the birds of prey last summer… so much fun! And I’m learning that there is so much more to the page. Gotta take some time to explore it. Thanks for being a great resource. I like that you have some events in Springfield/surrounding areas as well. I love the Northampton area, but live closer to Springfield." - Pauline Delton (West Springfield, MA)

6-10am – 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.

Hilltown Family Variety Show9-10am – HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW: This week we will be rebroadcasting our New Year’s Peace Episode. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org. – Listen to the most recent episodes of the Hilltown Family Variety Show anytime you want. Click here to see our current select of episodes, and be sure to subscribe to the podcast too.

9am-2pm – WINTER FARMERS’ MARKET: Winter Farmers’ Market in the basement of Thornes. Food, live music and art. Northampton, MA (MARKET)

10-11am – FOLK DANCE: A Natural Music School presents Family International Folk Dance at the Turners Falls Branch of the Greenfield Savings Bank.  Certificates of Participation will be given to homeschooling students needing experiences in the arts. 413-863-2850. Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA (FREE)

10am-12Noon – STEM PLAYGROUP: Join The Greenfield Family Center for a playgroup with a STEM focus.  Kids 6yo and younger and participate in interactive activities around science, technology, engineering and math. 413-475-1553. 90 Federal St. Greenfield, MA (FREE)

10am-12noon – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Look for wildlife tracks and learn to identify who the visitors have been today in the Hoosac Range!  The Berkshire Natural Resources Council is hosting a morning of outdoor exploration where kids can learn about the critters they share the region with.  Route 2.  North Adams, MA.  (FREE)

10am-1pm – WINTER FARMERS’ MARKET: The Greenfield Winter Farmers’ Market happens on the first Saturday of every month through March. With nearly 20 vendors, families can come shop for local produce and goods. Market can be found at the Second Congregational Church. Court Square (next to Town Hall). Greenfield, MA (MARKET)

10am-2pm – WINTER FARMERS’ MARKET: Visit the Amherst Winter Market at Amherst Middle School. This week The Common School will be showcasing their 5/6th grade botany study and offering packets of seeds. Live music with Jonathan Keezing too, local puppeteer and guitarist. 170 Chestnut St. Amherst, MA. (FREE!)

10:30am-12noon – BAKING FOR KIDS: Chandler’s Restaurant at Yankee Candle is hosting a baking class for kids!  The intent of the class is to teach kids about the raw ingredients that are inside the foods they eat and the process that they undergo in order to become food.  Most of the class kids can do by themselves, but parental guidance may be needed for the final steps.  Registration required.  413-665-1277.  25 Greenfield Road.  South Deerfield, MA.  ($)

10:30am and 12:30pm – YOUTH AUDITIONS: Kids ages 5-12 are invited to audition for the Pioneer Valley Ballet’s production of Cinderella!  No dance experience is necessary, and available roles include gnomes, fireflies, mice, horses, grasshoppers, and dragonflies.  Kids who are interested in dance could learn a lot by dancing in the show!  Auditions take place at Eastworks.  413-527-6363. 116 Pleasant Street.  Easthampton, MA. ($)

11am – LIBRARY ADVENTURES: Moosic happens at the Tilton Library.  John Blunt shares music and song on his guitar while Children’s Librarian, Julie Cavacco, reads to their young audience. 413-665-4683. 75 North Main St., South Deerfield, MA (FREE)

11am – KIDS’ PERFORMANCE: Spectrum Playhouse hosts First Saturday, an event including a performance, lunch, and an art activity for kids!  The day begins with a production of Dr. Marmalade, a show about a traveling doctor who helps animals in distress.  Lunch is available at the Starving Artist Cafe, and following that is family-friendly make-and-take art activity at the Good Purpose Gallery.  20 Franklin Street.  Lee, MA.  (<$)

1-2:50pm – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Collins/Moylan Arena (41 Barr Ave.). Skate rentals available. 772-6891 Greenfield, MA ($)

1-3pm – OUTDOOR ART ADVENTURES: Explore the outdoors at The Clark and create a multisensory art experience or a temporary installation!  Dress warmly.  413-458-2303.  225 South Street.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE)

♦ 1:30-3:20pm – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Fitzpatrick Arena. Skate rentals available. 413-532-2929. 575 Maple St. Holyoke, MA ($)

2-3:30pm – FAMILY MOVIE: The Westfield Athenaeum is screening the movie “Kung Fu Panda 2” this afternoon- it’s a fun, family friendly movie about a panda warrior!  413-562-6158.  6 Elm Street.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE)

3:30-5pm – KINDERGARTEN READINESS: Bring your pre-K aged kids to a workshop at Pathways for Parents to learn about what’s necessary for kindergarten readiness.  You are your child’s first teacher- learn skills, strategies, and activities that you can do with your kids to help them be ready for school in the fall.  Call to check for space and registration.  413-583-3527.  54 Winsor Street.  Longmeadow, MA.

5pm – CHRISTMAS TREE BONFIRE: Help Charlemont raise money for their 250th celebration in 2015 at a Christmas Tree bonfire!  You can donate your tree to the fire (drop off at the Hawlemont school between 11am and 3pm), or just come to enjoy the warmth- along with hot cocoa, cider, and treats.  10 School Street.  Charlemont, MA.  (FUNDRAISER)

6:30pm – FAMILY MOVIE: Watch “Mr. Popper’s Penguins” tonight to benefit MN Spear Memorial Library at the Shutesbury Town Hall!  The movie is an adaptation of the book (of the same name) by Richard and Florence Atwater, which tells the story of a man keeping penguins as pets!  413-259-1213.  1 Cooleyville Road.  Shutesbury, MA.  (FREE)

7-10pm – CONCERT: The Chicopee High School Music Department is performing a show tonight with the Liverpool Legends, a group hand-picked by the late George Harrison’s family to recreate The Beatles!  The show is a benefit concert for the department, and is a fun and exciting show appropriate for ages 6 & older.  Teach your kids to love the Beatles or celebrate your mutual appreciation for the band!  413-594-3527.    Bellamy Middle School. 314 Pendleton Avenue.  Chicopee, MA.  ($)

7-10pm – CONTRA DANCE: The Montague Grange hosts a contra-dance tonight!  All ages are welcome- this is an intergenerational event where families can learn to dance or pass on contra dance steps to their kids!  34 Main Street.  Montague, MA.  (<$)

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Sunday, Jan 8th, 2012

Hilltown Family Variety Show7-8am – FAMILY RADIO: Valley Free Radio (WXOJ-LP 103.3FM Northampton, MA) airs encores the Hilltown Family Variety Show every Sunday morning. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org.

“Our tribe loves snow play and we also as a town flood one of the town fair barns for skating parties. This winter I hope to organize a full-moon snow shoe hike and campfire/chili/cider event up in Heath. The winter is such a stunning time to be in community together in the crisp air!” - Lorena Loubsky (Colrain, MA)

1-2:50pm – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Collins/Moylan Arena (41 Barr Ave.). Skate rentals available. 772-6891 Greenfield, MA ($)

♦ 2-3:50pm – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Smead Arena. Skate rentals available. 413-781-2599. 1780 Roosevelt Ave. Springfield, MA ($)

1-3pm – CHESS: An informal Chess Club is beginning at the Lilly Library. Participants are encouraged to supplement existing chess boards by bringing their own too. 413-587-1500. 19 Meadow Street. Florence, MA (FREE)

3pm – MARIONETTE SHOW: The Tanglewood Marionettes perform “The Dragon King” this afternoon at Berkshire Trail Elementary School!  The show tells the tale of a wise grandmother who ventures to the bottom of the sea to find the dragon king and convince him to return to land- it is colorful and visually stimulating!  Sponsored by the Cummington Family Center. There will be a bake sale during the performance for the CFC. Bakers interested in contributing to the bake sale are invited to stop in at 2:30pm to drop off. 2 Main Street.  Cummington, MA.  (DONATION)

4pm – MUSIC HISTORY: Trumpet player/teacher Paul Sundberg is offering an informal talk about the history of the trumpet, beginning in ancient times and going all the way to the present day.  There will be ten different trumpets on display to illustrate the talk!  Kids can learn about music and music history- this can be  a way to supplement learning about cultural studies throughout history.  Takes place at the Stockbridge Library.  413-298-5501.  46 Main Street.  Stockbridge, MA.  (FREE)

4-6pm – ICE HOCKEY: The Boston Bruins Legends will be at Amelia Park Arena this afternoon to take on the Westfield Firefighters Local 1111 hockey team!  The event is a fundraiser for the SAFE program and is a fun event for families- kids can see some great hockey in a relaxed environment free of overexcited fans and adult themes.  413-568-2503.  21 South Broad Street.  Westfield, MA.  (DONATION)

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Monday, Jan 9th, 2012

“Hilltown Families provides current information on local activities for the family. Being new to the area I really appreciate all of the opportunities to become acquainted with the community.” - Glenda Datsko (Millers Falls, MA)

10:30am-12Noon – NEW PLAYGROUP:  The Meekins Library is now offering a facilitate playgroup every 2nd & 4th Monday of the month! The playgroup will include arts & crafts, story time, and other fun activities for kids and their grown-ups! 413-268-7472. 2 Main Street. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE) ♦

♦ 10:30am-12:20pm – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Smead Arena. Skate rentals available. 413-781-2599. 1780 Roosevelt Ave. Springfield, MA ($)

♦ 12:3-2:20pm – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Fitzpatrick Arena. Skate rentals available. 413-532-2929. 575 Maple St. Holyoke, MA ($)

2-3:50pm – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Collins/Moylan Arena (41 Barr Ave.). Skate rentals available. 772-6891 Greenfield, MA ($)

6pm – STORYTIME: Westhampton Library’s evening storytime is tonight!  Visit the library to hear a nighttime story.  413-527-5386.  3 South Road.  Westhampton, MA.  (FREE)

6-8pm – BIRTH CIRCLE: Shima Boutique hosts a drop-in birth circle for pregnant women and their support system.  The circle offers a safe space for exploring aspects of pregnancy, birth, and postpartum.  65 Main Street.  North Adams, MA.  (FREE)

EVERY MONDAY

  • 9:30-11am: PLAYGROUP – Drop-in playgroups for preK kids at the South Hadley Family Center, located in the All Saints’ Episcopal Church. 413-533-7096. 7 Woodbridge St. South Hadley, MA (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Northampton Parents Center. Basement of Edwards Church. Snack time at 10:15am. Circle time at 11:20am. 413-582-2636 297 Main St. Northampton, MA (Donation)
  • 10am – PLAYGROUP: Play and learn this morning at Broad Brook Playground, hosted by the Family Resource Center. Williamstown, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am-12Noon – PLAYGROUP: Easthampton Family Center, located at Flywheel Arts in the Old Town Hall. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA (FREE) ♦
  • 10am- STORYTIME: The Shutesbury Library’s story hour is this morning. Enjoy an hour of stories, songs, games and crafts. 413-259-1213. 10 Cooleyville Road. Shutesbury, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11am – STORYTIME: The Community Network for Children hosts story hour at the MN Spear Memorial Library- kids 0-5 (with caregivers) can enjoy stories, songs, and craft activities! 413-259-1213. 10 Cooleyville Road. Shutesbury, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Bring babies ages 12-14 months to Wee Ones Storytime at the Indian Orchard Branch Library! 413-263-6846. 44 Oak Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Mother Goose on the Loose at the Orange Library! Rhymes, songs, finger play, stories, and more! 978-544-2495. 49 East Main Street. Orange, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Forbes Library hosts Storytime with Ellie this morning. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 1-5pm – ART: The Art Garden has drop-in art making every afternoon! Kids can experiment with new mediums and materials- it’s an art adventure! 413-625-2782. 14 Depot Street. Shelburne Falls, MA. (<$)
  • 2:30-5pm – TEEN/TWEEN: Meekins’ Teen/Tween Scene is this afternoon. Hang out at the library and check out some new books, music, or DVD’s. You can also play a game on the Wii, get help with your homework, or do some arts and crafts. Snacks provided. 413-268-7472. 2 Main Street. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 3pm – LEGOS: Does your kid love LEGOS? Try out LEGO BrikWars, a wargaming system that takes ordinary building blocks and turns them into a game of strategy and destruction. Takes place at Forbes Library. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 5:30-6:30pm – LEGOS: The Central Library hosts LEGO Club tonight! Kids in grades 1-5 are invited to experiment with architecture and create a masterpiece. 413-263-6828. 220 State Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 6:30pm – SING-A-LONG: Families are invited to the Montague Center Library for a community sing-a-long with librarian/musician Linda Hickman. 413-367-2852. 17 Center Street. Montague, MA (FREE)

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Tuesday, Jan 10th, 2012

“We adore leaving the electricity off and lighting candles as the world darkens early in these winter months. We all gather round the table and play games, do craft projects, and tell stories. We skate outdoors at Brookfield Farm (South Amherst) when we pick up our winter share. We strap on our yak trax & hike around Puffer’s Pong (Amherst) & sled down hospital hill in Northampton followed by hot cocoa @ the Cup & Top (Florence)!” - Lisa Hamilton

♦ 10:45am-12:35pm – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Smead Arena. Skate rentals available. 413-781-2599. 1780 Roosevelt Ave. Springfield, MA ($)

♦ 11am-12:50pm & 1-2:50pm – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Fitzpatrick Arena. Skate rentals available. 413-532-2929. 575 Maple St. Holyoke, MA ($)

♦ 2-3:50pm – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Collins/Moylan Arena (41 Barr Ave.). Skate rentals available. 772-6891 Greenfield, MA ($)

4-5pm – POETRY FOR KIDS: Kids in grades 5-12 are invited to the new Poetry Cafe at the Athol Public Library!  Share your love of poetry with others, get help starting new pieces, gather inspiration, share your work, and cultivate a community of young writers.  978-249-9515.  568 Main Street.  Athol, MA.  (FREE)

6-7:30pm – SINGLE PARENT SUPPORT GROUP: Support group for single parents on the second Tuesday of every month.  Anyone who is parenting alone and/or co-parenting with an ex is welcome to attend the group for support with all issues related to parenting.  413-341 5282.  Main Street (3rd Floor, Thornes Marketplace).  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

6:30-8:30pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: The Collaborative for Educational Services is hosting a parent workshop at Easthampton High School on sleep!  The workshop will address sleep worries, and strategies that families can use to ensure that everyone in the house gets the sleep they need.  Call to register.  413-570-3061.  70 Williston Avenue.  Easthampton, MA.  (FREE)

7pm – SUSTAINABILITY: Westfield is forming a Transition Westfield group to be part of the Transition Town movement, and there’s an organizational meeting tonight!  The group aims to promote community resilience and sustainability, and anyone wishing to participate is welcome.  The meeting takes place at the Westfield Athenaeum.  6 Elm Street.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE)

EVERY TUESDAY

  • 9am-1pm – PLAYGROUP: Drop-in playgroup at the Amherst Family Center, downtown at the Unitarian Meetinghouse. Use rear entrance. 413-256-1145. 121 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-11am: PLAYGROUP – Drop-in playgroups for preK kids at the South Hadley Family Center, located in the All Saints’ Episcopal Church. 413-533-7096. 7 Woodbridge St. South Hadley, MA (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Northampton Parents Center. Basement of Edwards Church. Snack time at 10:15am. Circle time at 11:20am. 413-582-2636 297 Main St. Northampton, MA (Donation)
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Interactive Literacy and playtime at the Sunderland Elementary School for preK kids. All welcomed. 413-475-1553. 28 Old Amherst Rd. Sunderland, MA (FREE)
  • 10-11am – PLAYGROUP: Childcare of the Berkshires hosts a pre-school play-and-learn group in the after school room at the Haskins Center for kids ages 2.5-5! 413-664-4821. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am-12Noon – PLAYGROUP: Easthampton Family Center, located at Flywheel Arts in the Old Town Hall. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA (FREE)♦
  • 5:30-6:30pm – PLAYGROUP: Childcare of the Berkshires hosts a gym group at Florida Elementary School! There will be free play, circle time, and a snack. 413-664-4821. 56 North Country Road. Florida, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – STORYTIME: Lilly Library hosts Kulp Memorial Storytime- it’s a lap sitting hour for kids newborn-18 months old. 413-587-1500. 19 Meadow Street. Florence, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – STORYTIME: Berkshire Athenaeum. 413-499-9480. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11am – STORYTIME: The Greenfield Public Library hosts Pre-School Story Hour. There will be stories, songs, and fingerplay for little ones and they caregivers. 413-587-1011. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Pre-school storytime at the Milne Library! 413-458-5369. 1095 Main Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Kids ages 3-5 are invited to storytime at the Central Library! There will be stories, songs, and a craft. 413-263-6828. 220 State Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Toddler storytime takes place at the North Adams Library this morning! 413-662-3133. 74 Church Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – SINGING: Wendy will lead “Sing with Your Baby” at the Jones Library (large meeting room). 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA (FREE) ♦
  • 11am – TODDLER TIME: Lilly Library hosts Toddler Time in the Kids’ Room. Little ones can hear stories, do crafts, sing, and play games. 413-587-1500. 19 Meadow Street. Florence, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 3:30-4:45pm – LIBRARY CLUB: The Millers Falls Library offers a weekly drop-in club for kids of all ages with stories, art and crafts. 413-659-3801. 23 Bridge Street. Millers Falls, MA (FREE)
  • 9:15-10:30am – YOGA: Drop off the kids at school then come enjoy a yoga class at the library. Yoga teacher Kellie Finn teaches yoga this morning at the Meekins Library. This is a fun class for those at any level. Call beforehand to check on available space. 413-268-7473. 2 Main Street. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 1-2:30pm – NEW MOTHERS CIRCLE: Cradle hosts a gathering of moms and babies in a comfortable and supportive environment. Share your experiences with other moms and bond over the transformations that come with motherhood. 413-341-5282. Thornes Marketplace, 3rd Floor. Main Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 1-5pm – ART: The Art Garden has drop-in art making every afternoon! Kids can experiment with new mediums and materials- it’s an art adventure! 413-625-2782. 14 Depot Street. Shelburne Falls, MA. (<$)
  • 6:30pm – BINGO: The Hinsdale Lions Club hosts Bingo every Tuesday evening. Though it’s generally an adult game, your kids can come too for a fun intergenerational evening. If they’re learning to count, they can get some great practice matching numbers on your card. Doors open at 5, and dinner is available inexpensively beforehand. 413-655-2973. Maple Street (Route 143). Hinsdale, MA. (<$) ♦

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Wednesday, Jan 11th, 2012

Ice Skating in Western MA♦ 10:30am-12:20pm – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Smead Arena. Skate rentals available. 413-781-2599. 1780 Roosevelt Ave. Springfield, MA ($)

♦ 12Noon-1:50pm – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Collins/Moylan Arena (41 Barr Ave.). Skate rentals available. 772-6891 Greenfield, MA ($)

♦ 12:3-2:20pm – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Fitzpatrick Arena. Skate rentals available. 413-532-2929. 575 Maple St. Holyoke, MA ($)

4:30pm – PUPPET SHOW/SING-ALONG: Puppeteer and musican Anna Sobel of Talking Hands Theatre invites families to join her at The Yellow Sofa on Wednesday afternoons for an hour of fun!  There will be music and puppets that kids ages 1-5 will enjoy. 413-585-5877. 24 Main Street. Northampton, MA (>$)

6-7:30pm – WINTER CELEBRATION: Celebrate winter at the Williston Memorial Library!  There will be wintry crafts, a play (“Peter and the Wolf”) by Emily’s Players, and tasty snacks!  413-529-1605.  9 Park Street.  Easthampton, MA.  (FREE)

7pm – MUSIC & CULTURAL STUDIES: Learn about Native American culture and the importance of drumming tonight at the West Springfield Public Library!  Author Craig Harris will present a multimedia presentation that highlights the diversity of drumming styles and traditions within indigenous North American cultures, as well as its place within modern music as well.  Good for students and children with audience skills- a great supplement to studies of music and/or native cultures!  413-736-4561.  200 Park Street.  West Springfield, MA.  (FREE)

EVERY WEDNESDAY

  • 9am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Drop-in playgroup at the Amherst Family Center- downstairs in the Unitarian Meeting house. 413-256-1145. 121 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30-11am: PLAYGROUP – Drop-in playgroups for preK kids at the South Hadley Family Center, located in the All Saints’ Episcopal Church. 413-533-7096. 7 Woodbridge St. South Hadley, MA (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Northampton Parents Center. Basement of Edwards Church. Snack time at 10:15am. Circle time at 11:20am. 413-582-2636 297 Main St. Northampton, MA (Donation)
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Cummington Family Center playgroup in the rear of the Cummington Community House. 33 Main St. Cummington, MA (FREE)
  • 10-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Community Network for Children holds playgroup for kids ages 0-5 at Erving Elementary School! There will be activities for gross motor skills, stories, and art activities. 978-544-5157. 28 Northfield Road. Erving, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Wendell Free Library hosts the Community Network for Children’s playgroup for kids ages 0-5. There will be activities for gross motor skills, stories, and art activities. 978-544-5157. 7 Wendell Depot Road. Wendell, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 11am-12Noon: PLAYGROUP – Baby Hour at the South Hadley Family Center, located in the All Saints’ Episcopal Church. 413-533-7096. 7 Woodbridge St. South Hadley, MA (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – STORYTIME: Sunshine Story Time for preK kids at the Greenfield Public Library. Reading, singing and play intertwine as Kay Lyons leds a fun half hour of story time followed by play time. Lover Level in the LeVanway Meeting Room. 413-772-1544 x5. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA (FREE)
  • 10am – STORYTIME: The Mason Square Library hosts pre-school storytime! 413-263-6853. 765 State Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:15am – STORYTIME: Stories, activities, crafts and music at Carnegie Library. 413-863-3214. 201 Avenue “A” Turners Falls, MA (FREE)
  • 10:15am: STORYTIME: The Chesterfield Public Library has a children’s story hour. 413-296-4735 Route 143. Chesterfield(FREE) ♦
  • 10:30 – STORYTIME: The Meekins Library hosts pre-school storytime this morning. 413-268-7473. 2 Main Street. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Pre-school storytime at the Milne Library! 413-458-5369. 1095 Main Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Pre-school storytime is this morning at the North Adams Library! 413-662-3133. North Adams, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Kids ages 2-5 can attend storytime at the Monson Library this morning! 413-267-3866. 2 High Street. Monson, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30-11:30am – STORYTIME: Visit the Leverett Public Library for the Community Network for Children’s story hour! Kids ages 0-5 can enjoy stories, hands-on science activities, and art projects! 413-548-9220. 75 Montague Road. Leverett, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 6:30pm – STORYTIME: Hop into your pajamas and visit the East Longmeadow Library for Pajama Night Storytime before bed. For kids ages 3-6. 413-525-5432. 60 Center Square #2. East Longmeadow, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 1-5pm – ART: The Art Garden has drop-in art making every afternoon! Kids can experiment with new mediums and materials- it’s an art adventure! 413-625-2782. 14 Depot Street. Shelburne Falls, MA. (<$)
  • 4:45-6pm – KNITTING: Is your yarn all knotted? Do your needles refuse to behave? Get some help (or, if you’re a skilled knitter, offer support) at Forbes Library’s Knitting Clinic. Knitters of all ages and abilities are welcome- no pattern problem is too big or small. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 6pm – SUPPORT GROUP: Treehouse hosts a New Moms Group where new mothers can connect with other moms and babies can spend time with other babies. Intended for moms with babies 6mos and under. 413-344-4435. 305 North Street. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE) ♦

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Thursday, Jan 12, 2012

“I love seeing neighbors when we’re all shoveling out after a snowstorm. We used to love snowshoeing and cross country skiing, but we’re still sorting out the winter outdoors activities with a toddler and soon to be toddler. Special treat is bringing the camp stove and making hot chocolate out of snow.” - Sara Barry (Haydenville, MA)

♦ 10:45am-12:35pm – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Smead Arena. Skate rentals available. 413-781-2599. 1780 Roosevelt Ave. Springfield, MA ($)

♦ 12:30-2:20pm – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Fitzpatrick Arena. Skate rentals available. 413-532-2929. 575 Maple St. Holyoke, MA ($)

9:30-11am – PRESCHOOL FAIR: The Northampton Parents Center is hosting their annual preschool fair today!  Representatives will be at the center, offering information for parents on many different local preschools.  Visiting the fair can greatly reduce the amount of time you may spend school-searching!  413-582-2636.  Main and State Streets (Edwards Church).  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

♦ 2-3:50pm – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Collins/Moylan Arena (41 Barr Ave.). Skate rentals available. 772-6891 Greenfield, MA ($)

3-4pm – RENAISSANCE HISTORY: The Chicopee Library host a demo by the Association for Renaissance and Medieval Swordsmanship for teens interested in learning about historical combat. 413-594-1800. 449 Front Street. Chicopee, MA. (FREE)

4-5pm – CRAFTS: Make a fleece scarf at the Greenfield Library this afternoon!  Test your creativity and crafting skills, and make something to keep you warm during the coldest month of the year.  413-772-1544.  402 Main Street.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE)

7-8:40pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: The Collaborative for Educational Services is providing a parent workshop tonight on strategies for keeping up with and supporting an active, high-spirited child.  The workshop takes place at the Clapp Memorial Library.  Child care is available, call to register.  413-570-3061.  19 South Main Street.  Belchertown, MA.  (FREE)

7:30pm – FAMILY THEATER: Amherst Leisure Services Community Theater presents, “Annie” at UMass’ Bowker Auditorium.  The show features local actors to tell the classic story of orphan Annie!  413-259-3065.  80 Campus Center Way.  Amherst, MA.  ($)

EVERY THURSDAY

  • 9:30-11am – SUPPORT GROUP: The Amherst Family Center hosts a family support group! There is childcare for kids under 6, a well as snacks, and parents can meet and talk with other parents in a supportive, positive environment. There will be occasional guest speakers, as well as field trips, crafts, poetry, and more! There is free transportation available from Northampton. 413-834-3344. 121 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9am-1pm – PLAYGROUP: Drop-in playgroup at the Amherst Family Center, downtown at the Unitarian Meetinghouse. Use rear entrance. 413-256-1145. 121 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Northampton Parents Center. Basement of Edwards Church. Music class starts at 11am most Thursdays. 413-582-2636 297 Main St. Northampton, MA (Donation)
  • 10am-12Noon – PLAYGROUP: Baby playgroup for pre-walking children with the Cummington Family Center. Located in the rear of the Cummington Community House. 3 Main Street. Cummington, MA (FREE)
  • 10am – MUSIC/MOVEMENT: PreK kids welcomed to join Tom Carrol and Laurie Davidson at the Millers Falls Library (through 12/29). 413-659-3801. 23 Bridge Street. Millers Falls, MA (FREE)
  • 9:45am – STORYTIME: The Central Library hosts toddler storytime this morning! 413-263-6828. 220 State Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – STORYTIME: Visit the Sixteen Acres Library for pre-school storytime! 413-263-6858. 1187 Parker Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – STORYTIME: The Greenfield Public Library hosts Pre-School Story Hour! There will be stories, songs, and fingerplay for little ones and they caregivers. 413-587-1011. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Williston Memorial Library hosts storytime! With each month comes a new seasonal theme. 413-529-1605. 9 Park Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Meekins Library with Rochelle. 413-268-7473. 2 Main Street. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Lilly Library with Lisa. 413-587-1500. 19 Meadow Street. Florence, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Take kids to storytime this morning at the Emily Williston Memorial Library! 413-529-1605. 9 Park Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Jones Library in the Children’s Room. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA (FREE)
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Pre-school storytime is today at the Lilly Library! 413-587-1500. 19 Meadow Street. Florence, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30-11:30am – STORYTIME: Come and enjoy stories and songs with facilitator, Julie Stepanek, at the New Salem Library on Thurs. through Dec. 15th. 978-544-5157. 21 South Main St. New Salem., MA (FREE)
  • 11am-12noon – STORYTIME: Visit the Hatfield Library for story hour! 39 Main Street. 413-247-9097. Hatfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 3:30pm – STORYTIME: Martha Speaks storytime takes place today at the Brightwood Branch Library- kids can learn about the power of words through stories about dogs, crafts, and more! 413-263-6805. 359 Plainfield Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 1-5pm – ART: The Art Garden has drop-in art making every afternoon! Kids can experiment with new mediums and materials- it’s an art adventure! 413-625-2782. 14 Depot Street. Shelburne Falls, MA. (<$)

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Friday, Jan 13th, 2012

“I am new to Northampton, and my colleague connected me to Hilltown Families. I get the email every week, and check out what is next to do/discover.” - Kristy Catlin (Northampton, MA)

9:30am – SPANISH STORY TIME/PLAYGROUP: The Forbes Library will be hosting a free biweekly Spanish story time followed by an informal Spanish speaking playgroup at 10:15am for families with preK children. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

9:30-11:30am – HOMESCHOOL DAY: Today is Homeschool Day at the American Textile History Museum!  Today’s theme for grades 3-5 is “Fleece to Fabric,” and participants will learn about economic specializations and interdependence in a wool-producing village during the 18th century by participating in a “workers web” and creating a poster using wool samples.  Kids in grades 6 and up will learn about textile terminology and will learn to identify and describe different textiles- this includes hands-on activities like weaving and knitting.  Combine with studies of New England history, economics, and/or textile art.  Registration required. 978-441-0400.  491 Dutton Street.  Lowell, MA.  (<$)

♦ 10:30am-12:20pm – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Smead Arena. Skate rentals available. 413-781-2599. 1780 Roosevelt Ave. Springfield, MA ($)

♦ 1-2:50pm – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Fitzpatrick Arena. Skate rentals available. 413-532-2929. 575 Maple St. Holyoke, MA ($)

4-8pm – FAMILY NIGHT AT THE ART MUSEUM: Tonight is the Smith College Museum of Art’s Second Friday family event!  There is free admission to the museum, and families can explore the galleries and do a hands-on art activity (ages 4+).  At 6pm there is a tour designed just for families where strategies for thinking and talking about art will be shared.  413-585-2760.  Elm Street and Bedford Terrace.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

6pm – GAMES: Join the Chess and Scrabble Group at the Huntington Library for a night of games!  Learn the strategies behind chess or test your spelling and vocabulary with Scrabble.  413-667-3506.  7 East Main Street.  Huntington, MA.  (FREE)

6:30-8:30pm – GAME NIGHT: The Old Creamery Co-op will host an intergenerational game night.  Bring your favorite games, or play with what other’s have brought, and chase the dark winter nights away with friends and neighbors. 413-634-5560. 445 Berkshire Trail. Cummington, MA (FREE)

7pm – YOUTH HOCKEY NIGHT: It’s youth hockey night at UMass’ Mullins Center!  The Minutemen are taking on rivals Boston College- and any youth hockey player who wears their jersey to the game can get a discount ticket!  This is a great opportunity for kids to see their favorite sport played at a higher level.  413-577-0340.  200 Commonwealth Avenue.  Amherst, MA.  ($)

7:30pm – FAMILY THEATER: Amherst Leisure Services Community Theater presents, “Annie” at UMass’ Bowker Auditorium.  The show features local actors to tell the classic story of orphan Annie!  413-259-3065.  80 Campus Center Way.  Amherst, MA.  ($)

7:30pm – EPIPHANY: Trinity United Methodist Church presents The Boar’s Head Festival!  The event is a traditional medeival celebration of the epiphany- complete with period costumes, holiday music, and even live animals!  Just because the holidays have passed doesn’t mean you can’t still learn about cultural celebrations. Call for tickets: 413-733-4759.  361 Sumner Avenue.  Springfield, MA.  ($$)

♦8-9:50pm – ICE SKATING: Teens and families will enjoy a DJ ice skating session at Collins/Moylan Arena (41 Barr Ave.). Skate rentals available. 772-6891 Greenfield, MA ($)

EVERY FRIDAY

  • 9-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: Visit Shutesbury Elementary School for the Community Network for Children’s playgroup! Kids ages 0-5 can take part in stories, motor skills play, and art activities! 413-259-1212. 23 West Pelham Road. Shutesbury, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Drop-in playgroup at the Amherst Family Center- downstairs in the Unitarian Meeting house. 413-256-1145. 121 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Gross motor activities at the Sunderland Elementary School gym for preK kids. All welcomed. 413-475-1553. 28 Old Amherst Rd. Sunderland, MA (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – PLAYGROUP: Infants, toddlers, and their caregivers are invited to Crawl Talk at the East Longmeadow Library. 413-525-5432. 60 Center Square #2. East Longmeadow, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am-12Noon – PLAYGROUP: Easthampton Family Center, located at Flywheel Arts in the Old Town Hall. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA (FREE)♦
  • 10-11am – PLAYGROUP: Visit Lanesborough Elementary School for gym group! 413-443-0027. Summer Street. Lanesborough, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – STORY/CRAFT: Stories, songs and crafts for preK kids and their guardians. 413-298-5501. 46 Main Street. Stockbridge, MA (FREE)
  • 10-10:45am – SIGN LANGUAGE STORYTIME: The Westfield Athenaeum hosts sign language storytime this morning. Kids can sign, sign, and read along to stories- there will be lots of movement, music, and of course, American Sign Language. 413-568-7833. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:15am – STORYTIME: Kids 2-3.5 years old can go to storytime at the East Forest Park Branch Library! 413-263-6836. 122 Island Pond Road. Springfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Brightwood Branch Library hosts storytime for kids ages 2-3.5. 413-23-6805. 359 Plainfield Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30 – STORYTIME: Bring littlest ones to the Monson Library for stories, songs, and fun! 413-267-3866. 2 High Street. Monson, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30-11:30am – STORYTIME: Great Falls Discover Center hosts a story hour for kids 3-6yo. Held the 4th Friday of every month. 413-863-3221 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA (FREE)
  • 11am – STORY/CRAFT: Preschoolers can take part in story/craft time this morning at the Sunderland Public Library. 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 11am – STORYTIME: PreK story hour with snack and crafts at the Griswold Memorial Library. 413-624-3619. 12 Main Road. Colrain, MA (FREE)
  • 11am – STORYTIME: Lap-sit story hour for kids 3yo and younger at the Greenfield Public Library for Mother Goose on the Loose. Kay Lyons leads a half hour of structured story time, followed by 15 mins of visiting time. Kids will enjoy movement games, rhythm and song as Kay reads and leads the group with puppets and hand rhymes. Lower Level in the LeVanway Meeting Room. 413-772-1544 x5. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA (FREE) ♦
  • 11am-4pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: The KidSpace at Mass MoCA is open today- explore an exhibit designed just for young people and make some art of your own! 413-664-4481. 1040 Mass MoCA Way. North Adams, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 1-5pm – ART: The Art Garden has drop-in art making every afternoon! Kids can experiment with new mediums and materials- it’s an art adventure! 413-625-2782. 14 Depot Street. Shelburne Falls, MA. (<$)
  • 6:30-8:30pm – SUPPORT GROUP: GROW and MotherWoman host a postpartum support group for mothers in need of a supportive space to share, receive help, and grow. The group takes place at the Community Room. 413-822-6043. 48 Elizabeth Street. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 7:30pm – ASTRONOMY: Milham Planetarium at Williams College hosts an observatory show tonight! The planetarium’s Zeiss Skymaster can show phases of the moon, retrograde motions of planets, temperatures of planets and stars, the location of nearby galaxies, and more! The show is entertaining and also a great learning opportunity. 413-597-2188. 829 Main Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 8:30pm-12:30am – COMMUNITY DANCE: Dance Spree is a community family-friendly (and barefoot!) dance event – kids of all ages are welcome to attend with guardians. Great way to get moving! 25 Main Street, 4th Floor (above Fitzwilly’s). Northampton, MA. (<$) ♦

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