Suggested Events for Jan 21st-27th, 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

Nordic Skiing at Notchview

Notchview in Windsor, MA offers nordic ski lessons for all ages and skill levels every weekend at 1pm. Beginner lessons happen on Saturdays and intermediate lessons on Sundays.

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

As Hilltown Families enters its seventh year, celebrate the past six by voting for Hilltown Families as Best Local Blog in the Valley Advocate's Best of the Valley Readers' Poll for 2011! Best Local Blog is listed under the "Media Mavens" category. Deadline to vote is Noon, Feb 8th. Click on the banner to cast your vote! Must vote for at least 10 of your local favorites... how about some of our sponsor?

On Saturday, January 21st at 10:30am in Hampshire Co. – FAMILY CONCERT: See local musicians The Nields perform this morning at the First Churches!  The Nields play folk-influenced family-friendly music that both kids and adults will enjoy!  The show is part of Nonotuck Community School’s winter concert series and is sponsored in part by Hilltown Families. Proceeds benefit this non-profit school. 129 Main Street.  Northampton, MA.  ($)

And all day on Saturday, January 21st from 10am-5pm in Hampden Co.- MUSEUM ADVENTURE/ANIMAL STUDIES: “Frogs: a Chorus of Colors” is opening today at the Springfield Museums!  The exhibit features live frogs from all around the world.  Visitors can learn about the habitat that certain types of frogs require, what their coloring looks like, and the unique sound of each frog’s call.  The exhibit is open through May 13th, but today there are special opening day activities including arts and crafts, a scavenger hunt, and more!  800-625-7738.  21 Edwards Street.  Springfield, MA.  ($)

In Franklin Co. this Saturday, January 21st at 10:30am – FAMILY CONCERT: The Carnegie Library hosts a concert with Roger Ticknell!  Ticknell plays guitar, banjo, mandolin, and other stringed instruments from around the world.  He plays a blend of styles, everything from folk to swing!  Kids can enjoy a great show and learn about new instruments and styles of music.  413-863-3214.  201 Avenue A.  Turners Falls, MA.  (FREE) [Postponed to Jan 28th due to weather]

And in Berkshire Co on Sunday, January 22nd at 3pm – CONCERT/MUSIC STUDIES: Spectrum Playhouse hosts a concert for music lovers entitled, “The Violincello in Baroque Italy.”  The concert explores the origins of virtuoso music for the cello, and is a learning opportunity for music students!  Kids can learn about the history of the cello’s role in classical music and the history of Baroque music.  413-394-5023.  20 Franklin Street.  Lee, MA.  ($)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

It’s that time of the year again! For the past several years Hilltown Families has coordinated a community Handmade Valentine Swap — and we’re doing it again! Click on the banner to find out more and to sign up! It’s free and open to all families in Western MA.

Saturday & Sunday, Jan 28th-29th from 10am-5pm – TRAINS: The Amherst Railroad Hobby Show will take place at the Better Living Center at the Eastern States Exposition Fairgrounds (1305 Memorial Ave.). Over 50 model railroad displays in varying scales, vendors, crafts, clinics, and more. If you have kids crazy over trains, here’s 7 acres of railroad mania! 413-267-4555. West Springfield, MA (>$)

Saturday & Sunday, Jan 28th-29th from 9am-4pm – NEW ENGLAND HISTORY: This weekend is Fire and Ice Days at Old Sturbridge Village!  Visit the historic village to learn about ice harvesting, once a very profitable and necessary New England industry.  Weather permitting, there will be ice harvesting demonstrations and visitors will learn about harvesting techniques, as well as the many uses for the cut ice!  Other activities include sleigh rides, sledding, and skating (BYO skates).  800-733-1830.  1 Old Sturbridge Village Road.  Sturbridge, MA.  ($)

BULLETIN BOARD

OPEN HOUSE: Open House at Cloverdale Cooperative Preschool – Jan 22nd, from 2-4pm in back of the First Congregational Church at 130 Pine St. in Florence. See the new layout and learning centers – Meet great teachers and parents who can answer all of your preschool questions. Cloverdale, a half-day parent cooperative preschool, with an option for extended days, has been in existence since 1954. Its philosophy has remained unchanged throughout the years. In the true sense of the word, cooperative teachers and parents work closely together to provide children a meaningful blend of experiences to peak their innate curiosity, therefore imparting a lifetime love of learning. For more info visit www.cloverdalepreschool.com or call 413-586-1106 after 12:30pm.

Hilltown Families will host a free informal roundtable discussion for parents, educators and community members interested in a dialogue about creative free play in a commercialized world on Tuesday, February 7th from 6-7:30pm at Cup & Top Cafe in Florence, MA, sponsored by Hilltown Families and the Northampton Public Schools. Click on the banner to find out more!

OPEN HOUSE: The Academy at Charlemont will be hosting their Open House on January 22nd from 1 to 3 PM.  The Academy is a co-ed college preparatory day school on the Deerfield River serving students in grades 7 to 12 and post graduate. The Academy seeks students that are well rounded and demonstrate intellectual curiosity, a sense of humor, a desire to learn and a genuine concern for others and the community.  Come to the Open House, tour the campus, meet current students and discuss courses with the faculty.  For directions and more information visit www.Charlemont.org.  The Academy at Charlemont: Find your voice. Speak your mind.

Susan Voss of the First Church Nursery School writes: The First Church Nursery School is holding an Open House at 43 Silver Street in Greenfield on Saturday, January 21, 2012 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. We are a fully accredited Nursery School with multi-aged classrooms and flexible scheduling, and our children range from ages 2.9 to 5+. Join us to meet our teachers and parents of our students, and do activities with the kids. Our philosophy is to provide an opportunity for children to explore themselves as individuals and as social beings in a place where they can express themselves creatively and begin to expand their awareness of themselves and the world around them in a supportive environment. Bring the kids and check out our program! For more information call: 413-773-3068

PARENT WORKSHOP: Do you struggle with your child’s behaviors? The Center of Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning will be hosting a free 4-part parent workshop, “Why Do Kids Do What They Do?,” at the Northampton Public School Preschool at Bridge Street School on Wednesday mornings from 9-10:30am on Jan 25, Feb 1, 8 & 29.  Come to this free workshop series to learn strategies in dealing with the challenges of parenting young children. To register and to sign up for child care, contact Barbara Black in the Early Childhood office at 413-587-1471 or bblack@northampton-k12.us. (FREE)

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.

PARENTS' NIGHT OUT: Enter to win a pair of tickets to see the Carolina Chocolate Drops with opening act, Joy Kills Sorrow, at the Calvin Theatre in Northampton on Sat., Jan 28th. Deadline to enter to win: 1/25.

Lee MacKinnon, Director, Family Education and Support Hilltown Community Health Centers, writes: “With funding from the Mass. Department of Housing and Community  Development, the Hilltown Community Health Centers and the Cummington Family Center will be offering a free “CPR for Family and Friends” class on  Saturday, Jan 28 from 9:30-11:30am at the Cummington Community House. Led by Ed Vivier, Middletown EMT, the class will cover: CPR for  infants, children, and adults; how to protect your family from accidents; and  how to respond in emergencies. This course is designed by the American  Heart Association for people with no CPR experience. It does not include a test or certification, but rather focuses on preparing you to help your family and  friends in an emergency. Call 413-238-5511 X155 to register as enrollment is limited.” (FREE)


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
Jan 21st-27th, 2012

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter

Events Happening in the Hilltowns | ♦ On-going Events

Saturday, Jan 21st, 2012

“Hilltown Families is my first stop for an interesting and fun weekend with my 2 seven-year olds. It is our saving grace to have a kid-friendly destination on a Saturday morning, and Hilltown Families comes through for us in spades! We especially love it being new to the Valley (from Boston) and don’t know up from down out here! Concerts are our favorites in the winter.” - The Greenwoods (Florence 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 Underground Railroad 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.

8am-12:30pm – GIRLS & SPORTS: In honor of National Girls and Women in Sports Day, Western New England College is hosting a special day of sports events for girls!  Girls ages 7-12 can spend the day trying out new sports- they can preselect two clinics and will also have the change to try out squash and racquetball, and can swim in the school’s pool, too!  After the event are two WNEC basketball games (one women’s, one men’s) that girls and their families can attend.  Registration required.    413-796-2229.  1215 Wilbraham Road.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE)

8:30am-4pm – ANIMAL STUDIES: Every year, roughly 30 eagles spend the winter at the Quabbin Reservoir!  Mass Audubon is hosting an opportunity to learn about where the eagles can be found and where they find food.  Participants will learn about the history of the Quabbin and explore the shores to look for signs of eagles and other wildlife.  It’s a unique way to study the local ecosystem and to learn about a specific creature’s place within in.  RSVP required.  413-637-0320.  485 Ware Road.  Belchertown, MA.  (<$)

9-11am – BASKETBALL: The Westfield Knights of Columbus are hosting a free-throw tournament today!  Kids between the ages of 10 and 14 (as of January 1st) can enter the contest to test their free throw skills against other basketball players.  The contest takes place in the gym at St. Mary’s High School, and registration is from 8:30-9am.  Winners will advance to a regional competition.  413-478-1513.  27 Bartlett Street.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE)

9am-12noon OR 1-4pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE/ANIMAL STUDIES: Adventure throughout Graves Farm Wildlife Sanctuary and learn to look for signs of wildlife!  Susan Morse of Keeping Track will show visitors how to check for animal tracks, bark stripping, scat, signs of scent marking, and more.  Call to register.  413-584-3009.  Williamsburg, MA.  ($$)

9am-1pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: The Hartsbrook School hosts a workshop where parents can explore the nourishment of children.  There will be a talk on nutrition with a doctor, a lesson in nutritious cooking, and a group snack.  Registration required.  413-584-3198.  193 Bay Road.  Hadley, MA.  ($)

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

10am – FAMILY FILM: Images Cinema’s monthly international family film screening takes place today!  The theater will be screening a selection of short films for ages 10-14 from the New York International Film Festival.  There are films created in both live action and animation, and they are about a wide variety of topics.  Seeing the films is a way to show kids the creative possibilities offered by film!  413-458-1039.  50 Spring Street.  Williamstown, MA.  ($)

10-11:30am – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE/ANIMAL STUDIES: Visit Laughing Brook Wildlife Sanctuary today to learn about animal tracking!  You’ll adventure through the outdoors, while learning about ways to track wildlife other than looking for tracks.  During the winter, it’s sometimes very difficult (if not impossible) to find tracks if there has recently been snowfall or if the ground is too frozen to leave tracks in.  Today, you’ll learn other ways to tell if there have been animals around!  Registration required.  413-584-3009.  Hampden, MA.  (<$)

10am-12noon – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE/GIRL SCOUTS: Girl Scouts are invited to Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary today for a morning of snowshoeing and learning about wildlife!  Girls in Juniors will learn about wildlife winter adaptations and learn to spot signs of wildlife in the snow.  RSVP required.  413-637-0320.  472 West Mountain Road.  Lenox, MA.

10am-12noon – SNOWSHOEING: Go for a snowshoeing adventure today at the Bullitt Reservation!  The trek will be easy to moderate in difficulty, so those with just a bit of experience should be okay.  Dress warmly to enjoy the gorgeous reservation!  RSVP the day before.  413-532-1631.  Bullitt Road.  Ashfield, MA.  (<$)

♦ 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-2pm – WINTER FARMERS’ MARKET: Visit the Amherst Winter Market at Amherst Middle School . 170 Chestnut St. Amherst, MA. (MARKET)

10am-5pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURE/ANIMAL STUDIES: “Frogs: a Chorus of Colors” is opening today at the Springfield Musems!  The exhibit features live frogs from all around the world.  Visitors can learn about the habitat that certain types of frogs require, what their coloring looks like, and the unique sound of each frog’s call.  The exhibit is open through May 13th, but today there are special opening day activities including arts and crafts, a scavenger hunt, and more!  800-625-7738.  21 Edwards Street.  Springfield, MA.  ($)

10am-5pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURE/ANIMAL STUDIES: The Berkshire Museum is opening a new exhibit today!  Titled, “Taking Flight: Audubon and the World of Birds,” the exhibit teaches visitors about John James Audubon and his work, particularly, “The Birds of America,” a book filled with beautiful illustrations and information on the birds that populate our country.  The exhibit showcases artwork from the book along with specimens of each type of bird!  Today, visitors can take part in special opening day activities, including arts and crafts projects (you can make a bird house!), presentations on Audubon’s work, and more!  413-443-7171.  39 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  ($)

10:30am – FAMILY CONCERT: See local musicians The Nields perform this morning at the First Churches!  The Nields play folk-influenced family-friendly music that both kids and adults will enjoy!  The show is part of Nonotuck Community School’s winter concert series and is sponsored in part by Hilltown Families. Proceeds benefit this non-profit school. 129 Main Street.  Northampton, MA.  ($)

10:30am – FAMILY CONCERT: The Carnegie Library hosts a concert with Roger Ticknell!  Ticknell plays guitar, banjo, mandolin, and other stringed instruments from around the world.  He plays a blend of styles, everything from folk to swing!  Kids can enjoy a great show and learn about new instruments and styles of music.  413-863-3214.  201 Avenue A.  Turners Falls, MA.  (FREE) [Postponed to Jan 28th due to weather]

10:30am – DRUMMING: Drum Away the Blues at the Westhampton Library!  This program is an intergenerational drumming concert that uses many different types of drums.  413-527-5386.  3 South Road.  Westhampton, MA.  (FREE)

11am – TEA PARTY: Chandler’s Restaurant’s monthly Teddy Bear Tea is today!  Bring your favorite teddy bear with your, and enjoy a fun and delicious tea party.  You’ll get to hear the book, “The Brown Paper Teddy Bear,” too.  413-665-1277.  25 Greenfield Road.  Deerfield, MA.  ($)

12noon-10pm – WOMEN’S RETREAT: Gathered Resources of Women (GROW) and the Berkshire Red Tent host a special anniversary women’s retreat today!  Women ages 13+ are invited to participate in a day of honoring and celebrating womanhood!  The event consists of discussion, singing, dance, food, drumming, and relaxation in many forms.  Wear red, and bring something to share with the group.  175 Wendell Avenue.  Pittsfield, MA.  ($)

12:30-2:30pm – CARTOONING: Local author and cartoonist Melissa Mendes (author of the graphic novel “Freddy Stories”) will be at the Milne Library to teach kids about cartooning!  Those in grades 5 and up can learn how to put their ideas into comic form.  Registration required.  413-458-5369.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE)

1-2:45pm – WINTER STORYTIME: Owl and Raven hosts Season of Snow, a special storytime event full of stories, songs, and other activities.  They’re all winter-themed and are from countries all around the world.  413-341-6494.  2 Conz Street #42 (Maplewood Shops).  Northampton, MA.  (DONATION)

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)

1:30-3:30pm – OPEN HOUSE: Learn more about the First Church Nursery School today at their preschool open house! The school is fully accredited and offers multi-aged classrooms for kids ages 2.9-5.  Parents can meet teachers, parents of current students, and learn about some of the activities that kids can do at the school.  413-773-3068.  43 Silver Street.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE)

2-4pm – ASPERGER SUPPORT: Meetup at the Westfield Athenaeum 3rd Sat. of every month  with members of the Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership. Anyone on the spectrum, parents of children with asperger and folks in support roles are welcomed. Meet downstairs in the committee room. Contact Michael Reinhagen at mreinhagen@gmail.com for more info. 6 Elm St. Westfield, MA (FREE)

4pm – FAMILY FUN NIGHT/POTLUCK: The Northampton Parents Center is hosting a Family Fun Night potluck with live music from Aric Bieganek!  Bring something delicious to share and get ready for fun!  413-582-2636.  297 Main Street (Edwards Church).  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

5:30-7pm – COMMUNITY DINNER: Support a local Boy Scout troop tonight and enjoy a delicious spaghetti dinner at the Chesterfield Congregational Church.  Call to RSVP.  413-268-9475.  Main Street.  Chesterfield, MA.  ($)

6-8pm – ICE SKATING: Lace up your skates and hit the ice at the Mullins Center’s practice rink tonight!  By enjoying an evening of skating, you’ll be helping the Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech raise money for their 8th grade class’ trip to Washington, D.C.  The school, whose main campus is in Northampton, teaches students who are deaf and hard of hearing the skills for learning and communication that they need in order to succeed.  413-584-3450.  200 Commonwealth Avenue.  Amherst, MA.  ($)

6:30-8:30pm – FAMILY NIGHT: Whole Children hosts a dance and game night.  413-585-8010.  41 Russell Street. Hadley, MA (>$)

7:30pm – FAMILY THEATER: Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter School presents, “Bamba Kasikan: Tears of the Crocodile” tonight at the Academy of Music!  The show tells the story of Bamba the crocodile and his family, who are on their way to Mecca to make a pilgrimage.  The family meets a hunter, and Bamba and the hunter work together to find a way to both keep their promises to their families.  The show features the Wofa Dance Company and is based on a traditional Mandinka Fairytale.  413-584-9032.  274 Main Street.  Northampton, 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.  ($)

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Sunday, Jan 22nd, 2012

Hilltown Family Variety Show

7-8am – 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.

“Hilltown Families first to find out the groovy family-friendly happenings going on in the area. Your site is user-friendly and so much more informative than any other local website. Especially for those of us with kiddies!!!” - Sonia P Murphy (Greenfield, MA)

9:30am-4pm – NEW ENGLAND HISTORY: Old Sturbridge Village is offering free admission for kids throughout the month of January!  Families can visit the village to learn about what life and culture was like for early Americans (the village is set in 1830).  If weather permits, you can even add a sledding or skating adventure to your history-filled day.  800-733-1830.  1 Old Sturbridge Village Road.  Sturbridge, MA.  ($)

♦ 10am-4pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURE: The Amelia Park Children’s Museum is a great place for families to visit!  The museum has lengthened hours on the weekend, and it’s full of fun exhibits for kids to explore and learn from!  413-572-4014.  29 South Broad Street.  Westfield, MA.  ($)

11am-3pm – ACCESSIBLE OUTDOOR ADVENTURES: The Massachusetts DCR is offering accessible cross country skiing, snowshoeing, kick sledding, and other snow sports today at Mt. Tom!  Those with disabilities and their families are welcome to attend.  413-527-8980.  125 Reservation Road.  Holyoke, MA.  (FREE)

11am-4pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES/ART: 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.  (<$) ♦

12noon-2pm –  ACCESSIBLE ICE SKATING: Fitzpatrick Arena hosts a special accessible sled skating event today!  The event is open to those with disabilities and their families and friends.  413-577-3840.  575 Maple Street.  Holyoke, MA.  (FREE)

1-2:50pm – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Collins/Moylan Arena (41 Barr Ave.). Skate rentals available. 413-772-6891 Greenfield, 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) ♦

1:30-3:30pm – FOOD STUDIES: It’s no secret that traditionally grown foods are healthier than genetically modified ones, but do you know the specifics about it?  Ed Stockman presents a workshop today at Greenfields Market on the truth behind the health risks of genetically modified foods.  Participants will learn about how to make healthier choices when feeding their family- older students studying nutrition can learn helpful information!  413-773-9567.  144 Main Street.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE)

2-3:30pm – CONCERT: “Bread and  Roses” Concert to Celebrate Life, Love, & Labor Rights happens with the Amandla Chorus at the All Souls Church.  Green River String Band and Song Squad will join ght chourus as they commemorate the 100th anniversary of the famous Lawrence Textile (Bread and Roses) Strike. Bring the family for a concert for all ages! Corner of Hope & Main Street. Greenfield, MA ($)

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

2-4pm – HISTORY/FOOD STUDIES: Learn about 19th century food preservation at Historic Deerfield today!  The museum is hosting a lecture on the topic as part of their open hearth cooking program.  The event is a great learning opportunity for older students interested in food, American history, and American culture.  413-775-1214.  Old Main Street.  Deerfield, MA.  (FREE)

2:15-3:15pm – OPEN GYM: Community Network for Children hosts open gym time at the Greenfield YMCA. 978-544-5157.  451 Main Street. Greenfield, MA (FREE)

3pm – CONCERT/MUSIC STUDIES: Spectrum Playhouse hosts a concert for music lovers entitled, “The Violincello in Baroque Italy.”  The concert explores the origins of virtuoso music for the cello, and is a learning opportunity for music students!  Kids can learn about the history of the cello’s role in classical music and the history of Baroque music.  413-394-5023.  20 Franklin Street.  Lee, MA.  ($)

4:30 or 7pm – FAMILY FILM: Images Cinema is screening, “Hugo,” this week- the movie is based on the Brian Selznick’s bestselling novel, “The Invention of Hugo Cabret.”  The story is about a little boy living a secret life inside the walls of a Paris train station and the adventures he has after discovering a special machine and two new companions.  413-458-5612.  50 Spring Street.  Williamstown, MA.  ($)

7pm – CONCERT/MUSIC STUDIES: Music legend Mavis Staples is performing a concert at Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center tonight!  She’s the recipient of a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and a National Heritage Fellowship Award recipient.  The concert is not only an opportunity to hear fantastic live music- it’s an opportunity to introduce kids to music history and women’s studies!  See the show and then talk with your kids about Staples’ place within music history and the role of women in popular music.  413-528-0100.  14 Castle Street.  Great Barrington, MA.  ($$)

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Monday, Jan 23rd, 2012

“I wouldn’t know where else to go for any information on what to do with my family!” - Patti Smith (Longmeadow MA)

6pm – CHEMISTRY: Kids in grades 1-3 can learn hands-on about chemistry concepts tonight at the Agawam Public Library!  Registration required.  Part of a monthly series of workshops.  413-789-1550.  750 Cooper Street.  Agawam, MA.  (FREE) [Currently a waiting list]

MONDAY PLAYGROUPS

  • 9:15-11:15am – PLAYGROUP: Playgroup at Berkshire Trail Preschool!  Main Street.  Cummington, 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)
  • 10am-12Noon – PLAYGROUP: Easthampton Family Center, located at Flywheel Arts in the Old Town Hall. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am-12Noon –  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) ♦
  • 5:30pm – PLAYGROUP: Childcare of the Berkshires hosts gym group at the Haskins Center!  413-664-4821.  210 State Street.  North Adams, MA.  (FREE) ♦

MONDAY STORYTIMES

  • 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)

MONDAY ICE SKATING

  • 10:30-12:30 – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Smead Arena. Skate rentals available. 413-781-2599. 1780 Roosevelt Ave. Springfield, MA ($)
  • 12:30-2:30pm – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Fitzpatrick Arena. Skate rentals available. 413-532-2929. 575 Maple St. Holyoke, MA ($)
  • 2-4pm – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Collins/Moylan Arena. Skate rentals available. 413-772-6891. 41 Barr Ave. Greenfield, MA ($)

MONDAY ONGOING

  • 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 24th, 2012

TUESDAY HIGHLIGHTS

10am-12noon – FIELD TRIP: Community Action is sponsoring a family field trip to Kidsplayce in Brattleboro today!  Admission and a pizza lunch are included.  Registration required- e-mail fwisnewski@communityaction.us.  20 Elliot Street.  Brattleboro, MA.  (FREE)

3:20-4:30pm – CRAFTS: Kids in grades 1-6 can make an animal book this afternoon at the Westhampton Library!  The activity uses cardboard CD cases to make a shape book that uses different geometric shapes to create animals.  413-527-5386.  3 South Road.  Westhampton, MA.  (FREE)

6-8pm – TEEN: The Northern Berkshire Community Coalition hosts a weekly Youth Leadership Program!  The group is facilitated by adult volunteers, and teens can take part in activities tied to learning about leardership, communication, identifying community need, problem solving, project planning, teamwork, and more.  Learning leadership skills can help teens to feel empowered!  413-663-7588.  61 Main Street, Suite 218.  North Adams, MA.  (FREE)

7pm – FILM/ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES: “Sizzle: A Global Warming Comedy” will be shown tonight at Williams College’s Wedge Auditorium.  The film is the work of Randy Olson, a former Harvard professor turned filmmaker.  The film uses both fiction and documentary-style narrative to explore and educate viewers about global warming.  Following the screening will be a Q+A with Olson via skype.  Combine the screening with older student studies of environmental science, ecology, and environmentally friendly living.  413-597-4277.  Main Street.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE)

TUESDAY PLAYGROUPS

  • 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) ♦

TUESDAY STORYTIME

  • 9:30 and 11am – STORYTIME: Westfield Athenaeum hosts Little Ones Library Time.  413-568-7833.  6 Elm Street.  Westfield, 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: Toddler storytime at the North Adams Public Library.  413-662-3133.  74 Church Street.  North Adams, MA (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: For pre-schoolers and toddlers at the Lanesborough Public Library.  413-442-0222.  83 North Main Street.  Lanesborough, 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)
  • 6pm – STORYTIME: Drop-in pajama storytime at the Agawam Library!  413-789-1550.  750 Cooper Street.  Agawam, MA.  (FREE) ♦

TUESDAY ICE SKATING

  • 10:45-12:45 – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Smead Arena. Skate rentals available. 413-781-2599. 1780 Roosevelt Ave. Springfield, MA ($)
  • 1-3pm – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Fitzpatrick Arena. Skate rentals available. 413-532-2929. 575 Maple St. Holyoke, MA ($)
  • 2-4pm – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Collins/Moylan Arena. Skate rentals available. 413-772-6891. 41 Barr Ave. Greenfield, MA ($)

TUESDAY ONGOING

  • 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) ♦
  • 9:30-11:15 – GRANDPARENTS: Weekly group at the Amherst Family Center for grandparents through June- connect with other grandparents and talk about issues of parenting grandchildren or helping children parent.  413-256-1145.  121 North Pleasant Street.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)
  • 9:45-11:15am – BREASTFEEDING SUPPORT: Amherst Family Center hosts a breastfeeding group for families.  413-256-1145.  121 North Pleasant Street.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – BREASTFEEDING SUPPORT: Childcare of the Berkshires hosts a breastfeeding group for mothers at the Haskins Center!  413-664-4821.  210 State Street. North Adams, 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. (<$)
  • 3pm – CRAFTS: Craft Club at the Hatfield Library!  There’s a new activity every week.  413-247-9097.  39 Main Street.  Hatfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 3-4:30 – CRAFTS: Drop-in crafts at the Liberty Branch Library.  413-263-6849.  773 Liberty Street.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 6:30pm – BINGO: The Hinsdale Lions Club hosts Bingo every Tuesday evening. Though it’s generally an adult game, your kids can come too for a fun intergenerational evening. If they’re learning to count, they can get some great practice matching numbers on your card. Doors open at 5, and dinner is available inexpensively beforehand. 413-655-2973. Maple Street (Route 143). Hinsdale, MA. (<$) ♦

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Wednesday, Jan 25th, 2012

“I love Hilltown Families, because here I hear about many events that I wouldn’t know about otherwise. I’ve also used the search function and parent recommendations to find resources, like a pediatric dentist and an organic pick-your-own strawberry farm. Thank you!” - Lise McGuinness (Florence, MA)

10am – PARENT WORKSHOP: Optometrist Michael Purdy will be at the Gateway Family Center this morning to talk to parents about children’s eye health.  Dr. Purdy will discuss vision screenings, eye health, eye safety, and more with parents- all while your kids play!  413-667-2203.  9 Russell Road.  Huntington, MA.  (FREE)

1-4:30pm – OPERA/MUSIC STUDIES: See “The Enchanted Island” broadcast live from the Metropolitan Opera!  The new show incorporates music from Handel, Vivaldi, and Rameau, and the story is drawn from Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”  Older students can learn about the art of opera, and how stories are told through music and expression rather than words.  413-528-0100.  14 Castle Street.  Great Barrington, MA.  ($$)

1-5pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Visit the Crane Museum of Papermaking to learn about the history of papermaking at Crane since the early 1800’s. Located on the banks of the Housatonic River, the building itself is a museum! This is a great opportunity to learn about local history. If you can’t make it today, the museum is open all weekdays during the same hours. 413-684-2600. 30 South Street. Dalton, MA. (FREE)

4-5:30pm – TEEN: The Northern Berkshire Community Coalition is hosting a writing workshop for teens- it takes place weekly, and provides a space where teens can share their writing and get feedback from their peers.  413-663-9877.  61 Main Street, Suite 218.  North Adams, MA.  (FREE)

4:30pm, 7pm, or 9:15pm – FAMILY FILM: Images Cinema is screening, “Hugo,” this week- the movie is based on the Brian Selznick’s bestselling novel, “The Invention of Hugo Cabret.”  The story is about a little boy living a secret life inside the walls of a Paris train station and the adventures he has after discovering a special machine and two new companions.  413-458-5612.  50 Spring Street.  Williamstown, MA.  ($)

6-7:30pm – STORYTIME/TALL TALES: The theme for the Chicopee Library’s storytime tonight is tall tales!  Kids ages 5-12 can visit the library to do crafts and play games related to stories they’ll hear about Paul Bunyan, John Henry, and Davy Crockett.  Registration required.  413-594-1800.  449 Front Street.  Chicopee, MA.  (FREE)

7pm – STORYTELLING/MUSIC: Musician Charles Neville will perform an evening of music and storytelling at the Berkshire Athenaeum tonight!  Hear great music and learn about Neville’s early career.  413-499-9480.  1 Wendell Avenue.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE)

PARENT WORKSHOPS

  • 6-8pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Treehouse is hosting a workshop for new moms on babywearing and cloth diapering.  New and expecting parents can learn about techniques for and the choices available for both topics.  RSVP required.  413-344-4435.  305 North Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE)
  • 7-8pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: River Valley Market is hosting an Emergency Preparedness Workshop tonight.  Frank Grinrod of Earthworks will give attendees an introduction on what to do in a variety of emergency situations- like extreme weather, prolonged power outage, getting stranded in a car, becoming lost in the woods, etc.  Call to reserve a space.  413-584-2665.  330 North King Street.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)
  • 7-9pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Discuss radical parenting tonight at Owl and Raven!  The discussion will be lead and facilitated by a radical parent.  Learn more and/or share your experiences.  413-341-6494.  2 Conz Street #42 (Maplewood Shops).  Northampton, MA.  (DONATION)

WEDNESDAY PLAYGROUPS

  • 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) ♦

WEDNESDAY STORYTIMES

  • 9:30am – STORYTIME: Pre-school storytime at the Agawam Public Library.  413-789-1550.  750 Cooper Street.  Agawam, MA.  (FREE)
  • 9:30 and 11:30 – STORYTIME: Fantastic Fours and Fives at the Westfield Athenaeum!  413-568-7833.  6 Elm Street.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – STORYTIME: Tales and Tunes at the Northfield Library!  413-498-2455.  115 Main Street.  Northfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – STORYTIME: At the Westhampton Library!  413-527-4386.  3 South Road.  Westhampton, 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) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Pre-school storytime at the North Adams Public Library.  413-662-3133.  74 Church Street.  North Adams, MA.  (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) ♦
  • 4-5pm – STORYTIME: At the Cushman Library!  Stories, crafts, snack.  413-413-648-5402.  28 Church Street.  Bernardston, 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) ♦

Ice Skating in Western MAWEDNESDAY ICE SKATING

  • 10-11:50am – ICE SKATING: Homeschool ice skating time at Foote Arena!  Learn to skate or just practice.  413-664-8185.  1267 South Church Street.  North Adams, MA.  (<$) ♦
  • 10:30-12:30am – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Smead Arena. Skate rentals available. 413-781-2599. 1780 Roosevelt Ave. Springfield, MA ($)
  • 12-2pm – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Collins/Moylan Arena. Skate rentals available. 413-772-6891. 41 Barr Ave. Greenfield, MA ($)
  • 12:30-2:30pm – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Fitzpatrick Arena. Skate rentals available. 413-532-2929. 575 Maple St. Holyoke, MA ($)

WEDNESDAY ONGOING

  • 9:30am-12noon – FARM ADVENTURE: Red Gate Farm hosts Homeschool Halfdays on most Wednesdays.  The event includes farm exploration both in and out of doors.  413-625-9503.  4 Norman Road.  Buckland, MA.  (<$) ♦
  • 9:45-11:15 – NEW MOTHERS: New and expecting mothers group with MotherWoman at the Amherst Family Center.  Share experiences and get help with adjusting to motherhood.  413-256-1145.  121 North Pleasant Street.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 1-5pm – ART: The Art Garden has drop-in art making every afternoon! Kids can experiment with new mediums and materials- it’s an art adventure! 413-625-2782. 14 Depot Street. Shelburne Falls, MA. (<$)
  • 1-5pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Visit the Crane Museum of Papermaking to learn about the history of papermaking at Crane since the early 1800’s. Located on the banks of the Housatonic River, the building itself is a museum! This is a great opportunity to learn about local history. If you can’t make it today, the museum is open all weekdays during the same hours. 413-684-2600. 30 South Street. Dalton, MA. (FREE)
  • 3-4:30pm – CRAFTS: Drop-in crafts at the East Springfield Branch Library.  413-263-6840.  21 Osborne Terrace.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 3:30-5pm – CRAFTS: Drop-in crafts at the Indian Orchard Branch Library.  413-263-6846.  44 Oak Street.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 4:30pm – PUPPET SHOW/SING-ALONG: Puppeteer and musician 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 (>$
  • 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 26th, 2012

“Every Thursday night after my son goes to sleep I take some time to read the Hilltown Families weekly email – there is always at least 2 events I want to go to and reading what other community members write and share is always fascinating. I appreciate this resource so much!” -Jackie MacNeish (Ashfield, MA)

THURSDAY HIGHLIGHTS

12:15pm – HISTORY/WOMEN’S STUDIES: The Springfield Museums’ Museums a la Carte lecture today is on the role of women within history!  Throughout history, women’s role in important events, as well as culture in general, has been ignored.  Consequently, there is a lot of important information missing from traditional looks at history!  Visitors can learn about the everyday lives of women throughout different parts of American history- the presentation will include clothing and other items to illustrate the information discussed.  Best for older students, the lecture can be used to supplement studies of women’s history, American history, and/or material culture.  800-625-7738.  21 Edwards Street.  Springfield, MA.  (<$)

4-5:30pm – EDUCATOR WORKSHOP: This May, Greenfield is hosting the first Western Massachusetts Science and Sustainability Expo, an event that offers students, classes, and community members an opportunity to showcase projects and initiatives in science and sustainability.  There is a KidWind challenge, where students will compete to design efficient wind turbines, as well as a green dollhouse challenge.  The event can be easily incorporated into studies of nearly any type of science, and educators can find out more about the event tonight!  Call to register.  413-259-1658.  50 Miles Street.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE)

6-7pm – SUPPORT GROUP/PET LOSS: Has your family recently lost a pet?  Ark Angels, a pet loss support group, meets monthly at the West Springfield Library.  Kids dealing with the loss of their beloved cat, guinea pig, rabbit, fish, dog, etc. can get share their story and get support and comfort from the group.  200 Park Street.  West Springfield, MA.  (FREE)

4:30 or 7pm – FAMILY FILM: Images Cinema is screening, “Hugo,” this week- the movie is based on the Brian Selznick’s bestselling novel, “The Invention of Hugo Cabret.”  The story is about a little boy living a secret life inside the walls of a Paris train station and the adventures he has after discovering a special machine and two new companions.  413-458-5612.  50 Spring Street.  Williamstown, MA.  ($)

THURSDAY PLAYGROUPS

  • 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)

THURSDAY STORYTIME

  • 9:30 and 11am – STORYTIME: Terrific Twos and Threes at the Westfield Athenaeum!  413-568-7833.  6 Elm Street.  Westfield, 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) ♦
  • 10:30-11:30am – STORYTIME: Come and enjoy stories and songs with Happy Dan the Music Man at the New Salem Library on Thurs. through January 26. 978-544-5157. 21 South Main St. New Salem., 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 – STORYTIME: Storytime at the Griswold Memorial Library! Stories, craft, and snack. 413-624-3619. 12 Main Road. Colrain, 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) ♦
  • 6:30pm – STORYTIME: Pajama storytime tonight at the Monson Library!  413-267-3866.  2 High Street.  Monson, MA.  (FREE) ♦

THURSDAY ICE SKATING

  • 10:45-12:45 – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Smead Arena. Skate rentals available. 413-781-2599. 1780 Roosevelt Ave. Springfield, MA ($)
  • 12:30-2:30pm – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Fitzpatrick Arena. Skate rentals available. 413-532-2929. 575 Maple St. Holyoke, MA ($)
  • 2-4pm – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Collins/Moylan Arena. Skate rentals available. 413-772-6891. 41 Barr Ave. Greenfield, MA ($)

THURSDAY ONGOING

  • 9:30-11:15 – GRANDPARENTS: Weekly group at the Amherst Family Center for grandparents through June- connect with other grandparents and talk about issues of parenting grandchildren or helping children parent.  413-256-1145.  121 North Pleasant Street.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE) ♦ 
  • 2:30pm – MOVIE: Monson Library has kids’ movie time!  413-267-3866.  2 High Street.  Monson, 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. (<$)
  • 3:30-5pm – CRAFTS: Drop-in crafts at the Brightwood Branch Library.  413-263-6805.  359 Plainfield Street.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 5-7pm – KNITTING: Dottie’s Coffee Lounge host a beginner’s knitting group every Thursday. All ages and experiences welcomed. 444 North Street. Pittsfield, MA (FREE)

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Friday, Jan 27th, 2012

“Hilltown Families is the site to go to for HEALTHY family fun — healthy for mind, body and spirit. “ - Deborah Doulette (Whately, MA)

8:30am-3pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Spend the day exploring the outdoors at the Hitchcock Center!  Activities (weather dependent) include building snow shelters, sledding, sliding on pond ice, and exploring the woods to check for animal tracks!  Kids will learn all about winter animal tracking and animals’ winter adaptations.  Registration required.  413-256-6006.  West Street.  Amherst, MA.  ($$$)

5:30-7:30pm – FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT: The Huntington Public Library hosts movie night tonight!  They’ll be screening the movie “Dolphin Tale.”  413-667-3506.  7 East Main Street.  Huntington, MA.  (FREE)

FRIDAY PLAYGROUPS

  • 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)
  • 9:30-11am – PLAYGROUP: Playgroup at Whole Children!  413-587-1471.  41 Russell Street.  Hadley, 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: At Lanesborough Elementary School!  413-443-0027.  Summer Street.  Lanesborough, 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) ♦
  • 11am- BABY GROUP: Childcare of the Berkshires hosts at the Haskins Center.  413-664-4821.  210 State Street.  North Adams, MA.  (FREE) ♦

FRIDAY STORYTIMES

10:30am – STORYTIME: The Milne Library has Toddler Storytime With Helen this morning!  There will be stories, finger play, and songs- it lasts for about 20 minutes.  413-458-5369.  1095 Main Street.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE)

  • 9:30am – SPANISH STORYTIME: Forbes Library hosts Spanish storytime- great for Spanish speaking families or kids learning the language.  413-587-1011.  20 West Street.  Northampton, 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) ♦

FRIDAY ICE SKATING

11am-1pm – HOMESCHOOL ICE SKATE: The Mullins Center at UMass is offering ice time for homeschoolers!  Skate rentals are free, and adults can skate free, too!  200 Commonwealth Avenue.  Amherst, MA.  (<$)

  • 10:30-12:30 – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Smead Arena. Skate rentals available. 413-781-2599. 1780 Roosevelt Ave. Springfield, MA ($)
  • 1-3pm – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Fitzpatrick Arena. Skate rentals available. 413-532-2929. 575 Maple St. Holyoke, MA ($)
  • 2-4pm – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Collins/Moylan Arena. Skate rentals available. 413-772-6891. 41 Barr Ave. Greenfield, MA ($)
  • 8-9:50pm – ICE SKATING: Teens and families will enjoy a DJ ice skating session at Collins/Moylan Arena. Skate rentals available.413-772-6891. 41 Barr Ave. Greenfield, MA ($)

FRIDAY ONGOING

  • 10-10:30am – ART: Visit the Eric Carle Museum for Materials Play in the Morning, a program where kids can experiment with art making in new and nontraditional mediums that are not only great for creativity but are fun to play with! 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. (<$) ♦
  • 10am – MOVIE: Pre-school movies at the Berkshire Ahtenaeum!  Usually 20-30 minutes. 413-499-9480. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11:15am – ESL: Amherst Family Center hosts an ESL group- families can connect withother ESL families and work on language acquisition and parenting skills together.  413-256-1145.  121 North Pleasant Street.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10am-5pm – CRAFTS: Drop-in crafts at the Pine Point Branch Library.  413-263-6855.  204 Boston Road.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 11am-4pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: The KidSpace at Mass MoCA is open today- explore an exhibit designed just for young people and make some art of your own! 413-664-4481. 1040 Mass MoCA Way. North Adams, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 1-5pm – ART: The Art Garden has drop-in art making every afternoon! Kids can experiment with new mediums and materials- it’s an art adventure! 413-625-2782. 14 Depot Street. Shelburne Falls, MA. (<$)
  • 3:15-4:45pm – KNITTING: Drop-In Stitches knitting group at the Storrs Library.  Grades 4+, all abilities welcome.  413-565-4181.  693 Longmeadow Street.  Longmeadow, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 4-4:45pm – FARM ADVENTURE: Red Gate Farm hosts Young Farmers- a chance help out with afternoon chores including egg collection!  413-625-9503.  4 Norman Road.  Buckland, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 5:30-7pm – CHESS: The Monson Library’s chess club meets on the 4th Thursday of every month.  Kids in middle school and older can participate!  413-287-3866.  2 High Street.  Monson, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 6-7pm – BABY SIGN LANGUAGE: Sign Loud and Clear presents an info session on the benefits of baby sign language!  Babies are sometimes able to begin communicating via sign language before they are able to communicate verbally- learn how to start signing with your baby! Takes place at Baystate Medical Center.  Springfield Street.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE)
  • 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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1 Comment

  1. January 23, 2012 at 9:14 am

    Suggested Events for Working Parents: Jan 23-27, 2012

    Monday

    • 5:30pm – PLAYGROUP: Childcare of the Berkshires hosts gym group at the Haskins Center! 413-664-4821. 210 State Street. North Adams, 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)

    Tuesday

    • 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) ♦
    • 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. (<$) ♦

    Wednesday

    • 4:30pm, 7pm, or 9:15pm – FAMILY FILM: Images Cinema is screening, “Hugo,” this week- the movie is based on the Brian Selznick’s bestselling novel, “The Invention of Hugo Cabret.” The story is about a little boy living a secret life inside the walls of a Paris train station and the adventures he has after discovering a special machine and two new companions. 413-458-5612. 50 Spring Street. Williamstown, MA. ($)
    • 6-7:30pm – STORYTIME/TALL TALES: The theme for the Chicopee Library’s storytime tonight is tall tales! Kids ages 5-12 can visit the library to do crafts and play games related to stories they’ll hear about Paul Bunyan, John Henry, and Davy Crockett. Registration required. 413-594-1800. 449 Front Street. Chicopee, MA. (FREE)
    • 7pm – STORYTELLING/MUSIC: Musician Charles Neville will perform an evening of music and storytelling at the Berkshire Athenaeum tonight! Hear great music and learn about Neville’s early career. 413-499-9480. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, 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) ♦

    WEDNESDAY PARENT WORKSHOPS/SUPPORT GROUPS

    • 6-8pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Treehouse is hosting a workshop for new moms on babywearing and cloth diapering. New and expecting parents can learn about techniques for and the choices available for both topics. RSVP required. 413-344-4435. 305 North Street. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)
    • 7-8pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: River Valley Market is hosting an Emergency Preparedness Workshop tonight. Frank Grinrod of Earthworks will give attendees an introduction on what to do in a variety of emergency situations- like extreme weather, prolonged power outage, getting stranded in a car, becoming lost in the woods, etc. Call to reserve a space. 413-584-2665. 330 North King Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)
    • 7-9pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Discuss radical parenting tonight at Owl and Raven! The discussion will be lead and facilitated by a radical parent. Learn more and/or share your experiences. 413-341-6494. 2 Conz Street #42 (Maplewood Shops). Northampton, MA. (DONATION
    • 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) ♦

    Thursday

    • 6:30pm – STORYTIME: Pajama storytime tonight at the Monson Library! 413-267-3866. 2 High Street. Monson, MA. (FREE) ♦

    Friday

    • 5:30-7pm – CHESS: The Monson Library’s chess club meets on the 4th Thursday of every month. Kids in middle school and older can participate! 413-287-3866. 2 High Street. Monson, MA. (FREE) ♦
    • 5:30-7:30pm – FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT: The Huntington Public Library hosts movie night tonight! They’ll be screening the movie “Dolphin Tale.” 413-667-3506. 7 East Main Street. Huntington, MA. (FREE)
    • 6-7pm – BABY SIGN LANGUAGE: Sign Loud and Clear presents an info session on the benefits of baby sign language! Babies are sometimes able to begin communicating via sign language before they are able to communicate verbally- learn how to start signing with your baby! Takes place at Baystate Medical Center. Springfield Street. Springfield, 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) ♦
    • 8-9:50pm – ICE SKATING: Teens and families will enjoy a DJ ice skating session at Collins/Moylan Arena. Skate rentals available.413-772-6891. 41 Barr Ave. Greenfield, MA ($)
    • 8:30pm-12:30am – COMMUNITY DANCE: Dance Spree is a community family-friendly (and barefoot!) dance event – kids of all ages are welcome to attend with guardians. Great way to get moving! 25 Main Street, 4th Floor (above Fitzwilly’s). Northampton, MA. (<$) ♦

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