Suggested Events for March 22nd-28th, 2014

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

“The resources made available (and sent to my inbox!) have been such a treasure chest of information! I’ve followed up on many, and learned about so many others… This is like a quilt of the region–all the squares brought together into a wonderful blanket of information and opportunities. Thank you!” Toni H. (Northampton, MA)

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. 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/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

SUMMER CAMPS IN WESTERN MA

Summer Camps in  MassachusettsOur summer camp guide is up! Check out our featured post, 2014 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a list that will wow and dazzle you! Summer opportunities featured range from music, art, farming, theater, dance, science, nature, sports, speaking, yoga, rock ‘n roll… to traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans! — Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your listing HERE.

BULLETIN BOARD

Mar 22

SYRUP: One Sweet Performing Arts Festival featuring Avner the Eccentric, Saturday, March 22, 2 pm – 6:30 pm, Memorial Hall, Shelburne Falls. Piti Theatre Co. presents its’ 5th annual delicious potpourri of theatre, music, clowning, syrup tasting, mural-making and . . . free pickles. This year’s headliner is Avner the Eccentric, a master of physical comedy and member of the International Clown Hall of Fame who will also offer a workshop on 3/23 for ages 15+. “Here is what Avner the Eccentric does best: he reduces his audience to laughter and giggles and applause.”- New York Times. Also featuring Piti’s “Elmer and the Elder Tree” and storyteller-musician John Porcino. Schedule and tix: www.ptco.org/syrup; info@ptco.org

Mar 29

Valley Vegfest, Saturday, March 29, 10-4, at J.F.K. Middle School in Northampton. The first–ever Western Mass vegetarian festival featuring passionate speakers, vegan food vendors, veg-friendly products, and non-profit organizations dedicated to animal welfare, healthy living, and the environment. Learn about and sample delicious healthy new foods. Enjoy entertainment and activities for kids. Speakers include author and Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary director Jenny Brown, along with Neil Hornish, Dr. Kumara Sidhartha, MD, and Hannah Kaminsky. Have your questions answered during Q&A discussion sessions on a variety of topics, such as raising vegan children. Admission is free, donations are appreciated. Details at www.valleyveg.org

Mar 29 & 30

Tiny Owls, Captivating Ravens, an Enchanted Castle, Magical Roses, a Jealous Suitor, and a Lonely Beast. Full of whimsy and magic, Beauty and the Beast follows the story of a young woman who discovers the true meaning of love in an unexpected place. A moving ballet based on the fairy tale by Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont, Pioneer Valley Ballet’s original ballet features all new choreography and a colorful cast of characters dancing to the music of Antonin Dvorak. A thrilling and opulent performance for all ages, March 29 & 30 at the Academy of Music in Northampton. Tickets and information: www.pioneervalleyballet.org

Mar 30

Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival presents Mama Doni’s Jewish Holiday Party, a live family concert on Sunday, March 30 at 3:30 PM at Lander-Grinspoon Academy, 257 Prospect St., Northampton. An award-winning singer, songwriter and performer, Mama Doni and guitar virtuoso Eric Lindberg fuse together traditional Jewish melodies with contemporary bluegrass sounds. They rock the stage with a live performance guaranteed to get every member of the family dancing. Perfect for toddlers to grandparents! $7.50 adults, $5 children (under 2 free), capped at $20/family. Advance tickets at Lander-Grinspoon Academy or Springfield Jewish Community Center. Tickets also available at the door. Call 413.584.6822 or visit PVJFF.org. Co-sponsored by PJ Library.

Mar 30; Apr 3-May 29

Kathryn Roszko, a functional stoneware potter of CyclePottery in Hatfield, is offering an Adult Beginner Wheel Throwing class: 8 classes on Thurs. from 9-11am, Apr 3-May 29 (skipping Apr 24), w/open studio time on Sat. 2-4pm. Drop the kids off at school and enjoy some quiet, creative time for yourself making pottery! Interested in a Tues. class, same time? Contact Kathryn. Cost: $260. Includes 25 lb bag of clay, tools, glazes, firings & studio time. Also Parent/Child Workshops: Limited openings on Sun., 30, 2-3:30pm. $25/pair for lesson + $10 for Kathryn to trim, glaze & fire work. See www.cyclepottery.com for more info, call 413-219-9594 or email kathryn@cyclepottery.com. 4 students max/class, allows for individualized attention!

Apr 7-Jun 16

StoryCatchers: Writing to Discover is offering an afterschool writing workshop for girls in 5th and 6th grade. Held on Monday afternoons (3:30-5:30) in a peaceful Florence yoga studio, girls will explore, invent, and imagine the stories they have to tell. Writers will gather, have a snack and be offered a prompt — a found object, a quote, an image, a piece of music – before settling down to write. We will reconvene to listen to one another’s words, discovering our answers to Mary Oliver’s question: “What will you do with your one wild and precious life?” Meets Mondays between April 7-June 16 (except April 21 and May 26). $180 for 9 weeks. Learn more at www.storycatchersworkshops.com or email info@storycatchersworkshops.com.

Open House: May 3

The Ashfield Community Preschool invites you to join them for their annual open house on Saturday, May 3 10am-Noon. This event is for families with young children ages 2 years nine months – 5 years who are looking for quality care and small class sizes in the rural Hilltown of Ashfield, MA. Children who attend the preschool participate in a hands-on gardening program, growing a sunflower house and pumpkin patch. This year they will add a butterfly garden. In this pastoral setting the preschool offers a six week summer program with walking trips to visit local Ashfield artists. Join their staff on May 3. Tour their facility and grounds and register for summer and fall sessions. The preschool is located at 103 Baptist Corner Rd. 413-628-3248.

Jun 25-Jul 25

Share a local Hilltown summer experience with a student from Spain. Since 2008, Home Stays USA has arranged home stays for Spanish students. They look for host families with children of the same gender and close in age and interests to create a strong, intercultural relationship. Hosts invited on two-day group trip to New York City. Local organizers Joe Bock and Paula Garcia, from both Spain and America, are always close-by and in touch to ensure a successful stay. If attending a camp, organizers arrange camp paperwork for student if necessary. Airport transportation provided. Many references available upon request. June 25-July 25. $700 stipend provided. A great way to make a friend in Spain, have fun and represent the great Hilltown area.

One’s never too old, and rarely too young to study violin! Vicki Citron, experienced teacher of over 30 years, offers Suzuki violin lessons for ages 4 and up. Learn violin the way we learn language – through listening, imitation, and practice. Vicki understands different learning styles, has a passion for music and a love of children. She creates a positive environment where play and discipline are equally valued. Watch your child’s confidence and mastery grow through carefully prepared steps which guarantee success. Weekly private lessons and group classes in Shelburne. For more information: citronmusic.com, 413-625-6269 or citronmusic@gmail.com.

Helping a Parent-Helps a Child. Prevent child abuse and neglect. Caring, flexible, good listeners are needed to do weekly home visits to Hampshire County parents living in stressful situations. With three to five hours per week, you can make a difference to a family in need of extra support. Training and regular supervision are provided. The Spring Training Group for the Parent Aide Volunteer Program is forming now. Commitment to volunteering isn’t required until after the training. Having a car is required. For more information call Lydia at Berkshire Children and Families in Hadley at 413-584-5690 Ext. 144 or email lvernon-jones@bcfcma.org

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your April vacation program, afterschool class, community event, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, wellness program or business featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
March 22nd-28th, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | School Closings

Berkshire Family Fun

Events Happening in the Hilltowns | ♦ On-going Events

Saturday, March 22nd, 2014

Hilltown Family Variety Show9-10am – HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW: Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org. Join Mike Carrera and Debbie Cavalier on a fun musical journey all about friends and families. Sing along with fun songs, hear stories about Debbie and Mike’s family and friends, and learn more about their favorite songs. Get ready for a super fun time! —Encore of Saturday’s broadcast airs Sunday morning from 7-8am and podcast is posted here on Hilltown Families immediately following Sunday’s broadcast. Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcasts anytime. Click here to choose from 6 years of archived show.

Saturday, March 22, 8am-12noon – COMMUNITY MEAL: Support the Buckland Public Library at their annual Maple Breakfast! Community members are invited to Mary Lyon Church for breakfast foods, live music, and of course, local syrup. There will also be a raffle and a chance to purchase syrup and wooden spoons. 413-625-9412. Upper Street. Buckland, MA. $

Saturday, March 22, 9am-2pm – BABYSITTING CERTIFICATION: The Children’s Study Home is offering a free American Red Cross Babysitting Certification Course for youth ages 11-15. Here tweens/teens can get the information they need to babysit safely and confidently, including how to handle emergencies, important childcare skills, and kid-friendly games. In order to become certified, you must attend both parts of this two-part class (3/22 and 3/29, 9am-2pm). Please register in advance. 413-302-0369. 495 High Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 22, 9:30am-4pm – COLONIAL HISTORY/MAPLE SYRUP: Celebrate the start of Spring at Old Sturbridge Village’s Maple Days! Visitors to the Village will see how maple sugaring was done in early 19th-century rural New England. You can see the entire process, from tapping the trees to “sugaring off,” and you can learn about how each step of the process has changed over time. There will also be cooking demonstrations using maple syrup. This is a fun way to learn about the interesting history of this delicious New England tradition. Kids get in free with a paying adult. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. $$

Saturday, March 22, 10:30am-11:30am – ANIMAL STUDIES: Young children can come to the Carnegie Library to learn about animals that carry their own homes, like turtles. There will be no live animals at this program, but kids can learn all about these animals through fun hands-on activities. 413-863-3214. 201 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA.

Saturday, March 22, 11am – STORYTIME/MUSIC: Come to the Sunderland Public Library for music and stories with Roger Tincknell! Young kids will enjoy this musical performance. 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA.

Saturday, March 22, 11am – CHILDREN’S BOOKS: The Pelham Library‘s monthly Library Tea event features Caldecott Honor winning author Aaron Becker, who will “read” from his book Journey at 12noon. Kids will love seeing the book, meeting Becker, and having the opportunity to ask him questions. 413-253-0657. 2 South Valley Road. Pelham, MA.

Saturday, March 22, 11am-3pm – LOCAL FOOD: Head to Hager’s Farm Market for Maple Day! There will be demonstrations on old fashioned sap boiling, maple cream making, and maple candy making, as well as tons of maple-y treats. Enjoy this delicious springtime New England treat and learn about its history and process. 413-625-6323. 1232 Mohawk Trail. Shelburne, MA.

Saturday, March 22, 12noon – STORYTIME: The Chicopee Public Library presents a six-week (March 8, 15, 22, 29, April 5 & 12) story and discussion series with Tom McCabe for kids 6 and up and their families. There will be picture books and stories on many topics, including fairness, courage, and dreams. Please sign up in advance in the Children’s Room. 413-594-1800. 449 Front Street. Chicopee, MA.

Saturday, March 22, 1pm-2pm – NATURE SCIENCE: Take a closer look at one of our local watersheds at the Great Falls Discovery Center’s, “Watershed Investigators,” a special family program where kids can learn new ways to look at and understand the world around them using games, crafts, exploration, etc. Designed to best fit students in grades 2-5, but all ages are welcome. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 22, 1pm-4pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION/DANCE: Celebrate the start of mud season at the Museum of Our Industrial Heritage’s Mud Season Day of Dance! Two teams of Molly dancers – Green River Tap and Die of Western Mass and Handsome Molly of Princeton, NJ will perform at 2pm. Come to the Museum to celebrate the end of winter with music, song, and dance. The Museum will also be open to the public on this day. 413-336-8275. 2 Mead Street. Greenfield, MA.

Saturday, March 22, 1:30pm & 7pm – FILM: The Berkshire Museum’s Little Cinema presents a French Cinema Rendez-Vous – pay to see the afternoon film, then get into the evening show for free! The Museum will screen Age of Panic (2013, not rated) at 1:30pm and Under the Rainbow (2013; not rated) at 7pm. The films are in French with English subtitles. Please see the Berkshire Museum website to learn more about these films, as some may not be appropriate for children. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. $

Saturday, March 22, 2pm-6:30pm – PERFORMING ARTS: The 5th Annual SYRUP Festival: One Sweet Performing Arts Festival takes place March 22 at Memorial Hall! SYRUP 2014 features a performance by Piti Theatre (2pm), music and stories with John Porcino (3:15pm), and a performance by clown Avner the Eccentric (5pm). There will also be syrup tasting, raffles, baked goods, pickles from Real Pickles, and more. All ages will enjoy this fun performance! Tickets available in advance. 413-625-3052. 51 Bridge Street. Shelburne Falls, MA. $

Saturday, March 22, 4pm – MUSIC STUDIES: The Williams College Elizabethans are coming to the Holyoke Public Library to perform a program highlighting the music of the Renaissance. The six-voice vocal ensemble will sing sacred and secular choral music from the Middle Ages to the present. The group will perform Croatian, Dutch, English, French, German, and Latin selections in period costumes. Older students with audience skills who are interested in music and European history will enjoy this performance. 413-420-8101. 250 Chestnut Street. Holyoke, MA.

Saturday, March 22, 4pm-7pm – FAMILY CELEBRATION: Have fun with the whole family at the Northampton Parents Center’s Family Fun Night on March 22! The evening includes playtime, an optional potluck, dessert from Herrell’s, and a family dance with caller Jim Fownes and music by Dragonfly. This free event is a fun activity for community members of all ages, and is a great way to make new friends! 413-582-2636. 297 Main Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 22, 5:30pm-11pm – CONTRA DANCE: Sheffield Contra Dance presents their First Annual Spring Fever Dance with Fern Bradley and the 5 Mile String Band. The evening starts off with a community sing-along, and features a potluck supper, family dance, and contra dance. The fun community-oriented event is open to all ages and skill levels. Takes place at Dewey Memorial Hall. 91 Main Street. Sheffield, MA. $

Saturday, March 22, 6pm-8pm – PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: Bread Euphoria‘s “Saturday Night Rise” concert series continues tonight with a performance by Katherine First and the Kitchen Party. The group will perform traditional Irish music. 413-268-7757. 206 Main Street. Haydenville, MA.

Saturday, March 22, 7pm – THEATER: Ja’Duke Center for the Performing Arts presents a production of Tarzan at the Turners Falls High School auditorium. The play is based on Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan of the Apes and the 1999 Disney animated film. The play tells of a young boy who is taken in and raised by a tribe of gorillas. All ages will enjoy this fun musical performance. Tickets available online. 413-863-0001. 222 Turnpike Road. Turners Falls, MA. $$

Saturday, March 22, 7pm-8:30pm – ANIMAL STUDIES: Join the Dickinson Memorial Library for an Owl Prowl as part of their “Learn and Explore Indoors and Out” series of events. The series features programs focused on Northfield’s forests, meadows, and wildlife, and helps community members of all ages discover the wonders of nature. Tom Wansleban of Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust will lead the owl prowl in the woods of the Northfield Mount Hermon School. Walk through the woods calling and listening for owls. Cider and hot chocolate will be provided. Please register in advance. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA.

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Sunday, March 23rd, 2014

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. commercial-free family radio. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org. Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcast anytime. Click here to see 6 years of archived shows.

8:30am-4pm – PLANT STUDIES: Warm up at the Smith College’s Lyman Conservatory & Plant House! Not only is it a warm destination on a cold day, but there are loads of learning opportunities awaiting you! They offer an audio tour for both kids and adults, and a “Woods of the World” display that features panels of wood from over 170 trees from all around the world! With ten different indoor exhibits to explore, the learning possibilities offered by the conservatory are endless. 413-585-2740. 16 College Lane on the Smith College campus. Northampton, MA (FREE/Donations)

Sunday, March 23, 9:30am-4pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Celebrate the start of Spring at Old Sturbridge Village’s Maple Days! Visitors to the Village will see how maple sugaring was done in early 19th-century rural New England. You can see the entire process, from tapping the trees to “sugaring off,” and you can learn about how each step of the process has changed over time. There will also be cooking demonstrations using maple syrup. This is a fun way to learn about the interesting history of this delicious New England tradition. Kids get in free with a paying adult. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. $$

Sunday, March 23, 10:30am – LOCAL FOOD/MAPLE SYRUP: Join the Berkshire Co-Op Market (Great Barrington, MA) for their annual farm tour at Mead’s Maple Syrup. Winter and Jude Mead will give an in-depth tour of their farm and maple syrup making process. The tour will be followed by a pancake brunch. This farm tour would be fun for those who are interested in learning more about the process of making maple syrup. Please sign up in advance. Meet at the Farm. 413-528-9697 x10. 37 Tobey Hill Road. Canaan, CT.

Sunday, March 23, 12noon – ST. PATRICK’S DAY: The St. Patrick’s Day Parade has been a Holyoke tradition for over 60 years! This exciting annual parade features live music, floats, dancers, and other performers, and travels all over the city of Holyoke. Holyoke, MA.

Sunday, March 23, 12noon-4pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: March 23 is Very Hungry Caterpillar Day at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art! Come to the museum for special storytimes, art activities, and a visit from the Very Hungry Caterpillar. Free with museum admission. 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. $

Sunday, March 23, 1pm – ART HISTORY: The Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts is offering a docent-led “mini-tour” with Muriel Kowlessar, titled “Modern American Art.” Discover modern American art through realism, precisionism, and expressionism. Free with museum admission. 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. $$

Sunday, March 23, 1:30pm & 7pm – FILM: The Berkshire Museum’s Little Cinema presents a French Cinema Rendez-Vous – pay to see the afternoon film, then get into the evening show for free! The Museum will screen Tip Top (2013, not rated) at 1:30pm and 2 Autumns, 3 Winters (2013; not rated) at 7pm. The films are in French with English subtitles. Please see the Berkshire Museum website to learn more about these films, as some may not be appropriate for children. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. $

Sunday, March 23, 2pm – THEATER: Ja’Duke Center for the Performing Arts presents a production of Tarzan at the Turners Falls High School auditorium. The play is based on Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan of the Apes and the 1999 Disney animated film. The play tells of a young boy who is taken in and raised by a tribe of gorillas. All ages will enjoy this fun musical performance. Tickets available online. 413-863-0001. 222 Turnpike Road. Turners Falls, MA. $$

Sunday, March 23, 2pm-3pm – HISTORY/FURNITURE: Historic Deerfield presents, “The Furniture of Western Massachusetts: Tradition, Innovation, and Regional Identity,” a lecture by Joshua Lane. This is part of their free winter lecture series, “Furniture Masterworks: Four Centuries of Massachusetts Furniture.” Older students interested in New England history and furniture will benefit from this talk. Takes place at Deerfield Academy’s Garonzik Auditorium, in the Koch Science Center. 413-774-5581. Deerfield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, March 23, 3pm – CONCERT: Since 1969, the United States Army Jazz Ambassadors band has been performing one of America’s great original art forms all around the world. “America’s Big Band” will perform big band swing, bebop, Latin, contemporary jazz, standards, pop music, Dixieland, and more at the Colonial Theatre on March 23. Music-lovers of all ages will enjoy this exciting big band performance. 413-997-4444. 111 South Street. Pittsfield, MA.

Sunday, March 23, 3pm-4pm – SPORTS: Kids ages 8-11 can come learn how to play baseball and improve their skills. The Otis Recreation Commission is offering a free, drop-in indoor baseball clinic where kids can practice pitching and batting with tennis balls. Takes place at Farmington River Elementary School. 413-269-4541. 555 North Main Road. Otis, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, March 23, 4pm – GOVERNMENT: Today’s installment of the Lenox Library’s Distinguished Lecture Series is “Local Government: Making the System Work for You,” with David Roche (Chairman of the Lenox Board of Selectmen), Smitty Pignatelli (Massachusetts State Representative), and Benjamin Downing (Massachusetts State Senator). This program would be best for older students interested in government. 413-637-2630. 18 Main Street. Lenox, MA.

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Monday, March 24th, 2014

Monday, March 24, 10am-12noon – BOOK SWAP: Parents are invited to participate in a book swap during Easthampton Family Center‘s regular playgroup hours. Bring grown-up books to share and swap, or just come by to pick some up. This is a great way to get rid of unwanted books in a sustainable way while finding something new to read! 413-527-5496. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

Monday, March 24, 1:30pm & 7pm – FILM: The Berkshire Museum’s Little Cinema presents a French Cinema Rendez-Vous – pay to see the afternoon film, then get into the evening show for free! The Museum will screen Cineastes (not rated) at 1:30pm and The Marchers (2013; not rated) at 7pm. The films are in French with English subtitles. Please see the Berkshire Museum website to learn more about these films, as some may not be appropriate for children. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. $

Monday, March 24, 5:30pm-7pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Child Care of the Berkshires, Inc. is offering a workshop for parents and stepparents on “Active Parenting for Blended Families.” This four-part series addresses some of the challenges of a blended family and gives stepfamilies support and guidance. The workshop meets 3/24, 3/31, 4/7, and 4/21 at the Haskins Center. Call to register. 413-664-4821. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA.

Monday, March 24, 4-6pm – CULINARY ARTS: Pioneer Valley Bread House is holding a bread-baking event that’s open to everyone! Come learn how to bake bread from scratch and share, learn, and create with community members. Baking bread is a fun and useful skill and this is a perfect event to help you get started! Takes place at Five College Women’s Studies Research Center. Gluten free breads are also made. 83 College Street, South Hadley, MA (FREE)

Monday, March 24, 6pm – TECHNOLOGY: Come to Amherst Brewing Company for this month’s Sci.Tech.Café! The topic this month is “Holograms and Tractor Beams.” Learn all about how holograms and tractor beams work with Professor Ward Lopes of Williams College. Those interested in physics will enjoy this talk, which is designed for community members without science backgrounds. 10 University Drive. Amherst, MA.

Monday, March 24, 6pm-7pm – ARTISAN TRADE: Ralmon Jon Black presents, “Made in the Happy Valley – Colonial Asheries: An Eighteenth Century Industry Unrecorded and Forgotten” at the Wistariahurst Museum. Black will discuss the colonial potash industry and its effect on the economy in the 1700s, as well as its lasting ecological impacts. 413-322-5660. 238 Cabot Street. Holyoke, MA. $

Monday, March 24, 6:30pm – VICTORIAN HISTORY: Performance artist Kandie Carle will be at the Storrs Library to perform her one-woman show, “Victorian Lady.” Carle will use authentic Victorian and Edwardian clothing to interact with the audience and to take them on a journey into the past through fashion. She will discuss the history and significance of each item of clothing in order to give audience members an idea of what fashion, etiquette, and lifestyles were like during the Victorian and Edwardian era, including interesting anecdotes and ‘myth busting’. 413-565-4182. 693 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

ONGOING FOR MONDAYS (Always double check events before heading out. To add your ongoing event/activity here, email us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com)

  • 9am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Amherst Family Center has drop-in playgroup every Monday, including snacks, circle time, activities, and more. 413-256-1145. 1200 North Pleasant Street. North Amherst, MA
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: CHP Family Network offers a “gym fun” playgroup at West Stockbridge Town Hall. 413-464-5095. 21 State Line Road. West Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Northampton Parents Center is open every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:30am-11:30am for playgroup, stories, snacks, and circle time. For pre-K children and their siblings. 413-582-2636. 297 Main Street, lower level. Northampton, MA.
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The South Hadley Family Center offers playgroups every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:30am-11:30am at All Saints Episcopal Church. Stop by for open play, crafts, stories, music, and more. 413-533-7096. 7 Woodbridge Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Stop by Otis Town Hall for playgroup every Monday! 413-464-5095. 1 North Main Road. Otis, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Play and Learn Group at the Williamstown Youth Center for kids walking-age up to age five. Includes puzzles, play dough, riding toys, balls, books, and more. 413-663-6593. 66 School Street. Williamstown, MA.
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Easthampton Family Center is open every Monday, Tuesday, and Friday from 10am-12noon. 413-527-5496. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA.
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Storytime for babies 2 and under and their parents at the East Longmeadow Library. 413-525-5400 x1506. 60 Center Square. East Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – MOVEMENT: “Music for Little Ones” at the Pelham Library features a half hour of music and movement for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. 413-253-0657. 2 South Valley Road. Pelham, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Stop by the Meekins Library on the first and third Monday of each month for playgroup. Storytime, games, and arts and crafts are featured. For kids 8 and under. 2 Williams Street. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am-12:30pm – PARENT SUPPORT GROUP: MotherWoman is returning to the Hilltowns for a weekly drop-in group for mothers of young children. The group offers a supportive environment for mothers to discuss motherhood and all aspects of raising young children. Takes place at the St. John’s Corner House Mission. 413-625-6948. 469 Main Street. Ashfield, MA.
  • 3:15pm-4:15pm – CHESS: Kids in grade 2 and up are invited to the Storrs Library for their weekly drop-in chess program. Come play with other kids and improve your chess skills! 413-565-4182. 693 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

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Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Tuesday, March 25, 9:30am-11am and 6:30pm-8pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: The Agawam Public Schools are hosting a parent cafe on identifying your parenting style. Come talk with other parents, discuss different parenting styles, and discover which one works for you and your family. Childcare is available at the morning session only. Morning session takes place at Agawam Congregational Church (745 Main Street) and evening session takes place at Agawam Senior Center (954 Main Street). 413-821-0552. Agawam, MA.

Tuesday, March 25, 10am-12noon – BOOK SWAP: Parents are invited to participate in a book swap during Easthampton Family Center‘s regular playgroup hours. Bring grown-up books to share and swap, or just come by to pick some up. This is a great way to get rid of unwanted books in a sustainable way while finding something new to read! 413-527-5496. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, March 25, 4pm-5pm – BOOK GROUP: Join The Westfield Athenaeum for a kids book discussion group on Lillie V. Albrecht’s Deborah Remembers. Youth in grades 3-5 can come to discuss the book and play relevant games. This is a great chance for kids to do some outside-of-school reading while interacting with their peers in a discussion group. Please register in advance. 413-568-7833. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, March 25, 7pm – FILM/ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES: The Hitchcock Center for the Environment is screening Play Again (2010) as part of their Environmental Film and Speaker Series. The documentary follows six teenagers who, like “the average American child,” spend five to fifteen hours a day in front of screens. See what happens when these kids go outside and get completely unplugged – no phones, TV, or electricity. The film will be followed by a discussion, led by environmental educators from the Hitchcock Center. For more information on the series or to see the movie trailer, see the Hitchcock Center website. 413-256-6006. 525 South Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. >$

ONGOING FOR TUESDAYS (Always double check events before heading out. To add your ongoing event/activity here, email us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com)

10am-7pm – PIANO LESSONS: Simply Music Piano with Barbara Goodchild, 7yrs-adult. Mon-Thurs., 25-55 min. lessons. Free introductory session. 413-625-8203. Cooper Lane. Shelburne, MA ($20/lesson)

  • 9am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Amherst Family Center has drop-in playgroup every Monday, including snacks, circle time, activities, and more. 413-256-1145. 1200 North Pleasant Street. North Amherst, MA
  • 9:30am-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: The CHP Family Center is holding a “Toddler Steps” playgroup for kids 18 months to three years. Takes place at CHP Family Services Building every Tuesday and Thursday. 413-464-5095. Great Barrington, MA (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Northampton Parents Center is open every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:30am-11:30am for playgroup, stories, snacks, and circle time. For pre-K children and their siblings. 413-582-2636. 297 Main Street, lower level. Northampton, MA.
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The South Hadley Family Center offers playgroups every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:30am-11:30am at All Saints Episcopal Church. Stop by for open play, crafts, stories, music, and more. 413-533-7096. 7 Woodbridge Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Belchertown Family Center is open every Tuesday and Thursday from 9:30am-12noon for drop-in playgroup. 413-283-7594. 720 Franklin Street. Belchertown, MA.
  • 9:30am-12noon – PARENT/CHILD GROUP: Gateway Family Center offers a parent-child school readiness group every Tuesday from until June. 413-667-2203. 9 Russell Road. Huntington, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am – STORYTIME: Come by the Goodwin Memorial Library for “Lunatunes!” a dynamic storytime with songs, movement, stories, and original art. For babies through age 5. 413-584-7451. Route 47 & Route 9. Hadley, MA.
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Palmer Monson Family Network’s drop-in playgroup runs every Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, and is open to families with young children. Creative play, snack time, and circle time. 413-283-6246. 4 Springfield Street. Three Rivers, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am – STORYTIME: Storytime for toddlers at the Berkshire Athenaeum. 413-499-9480. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Weekly playgroup at Sunderland Elementary School for kids 5 and under. Every Tuesday and Friday. Old Amherst Road. Sunderland, MA.
  • 10am-11am – STORYTIME: Join the Greenfield Public Library for a weekly storytime! This event includes stories, songs, fingerplays, and crafts for kids age five and under. 413-772-1544 x5. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA.
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Playgroup for pre-K kids with educational games and hands-on activities. Takes place at Haskins Center. 413-663-6593. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA.
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Easthampton Family Center is open every Monday, Tuesday, and Friday from 10am-12noon. 413-527-5496. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA.
  • 10:30am – MUSIC: Every Tuesday until May 6, the Jones Library will hold “Sing With Your Baby,” an program for preschool-aged children and their parents. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA.
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: The Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School hosts Rhyme Time, a song and story circle for young children with a parent or caregiver, at Matrushka Toys and Gifts. All are welcome to this weekly drop-in event. Led by Waldorf parent-child teacher Trice Atchison, Rhyme Time engages babies and young children in seasonal songs, nursery rhymes and simple puppetry. 413-528-6911. 309 Main Street. Great Barrington, MA (FREE)
  • 11am-12noon – CULINARY ARTS: Community Health Programs is offering “Kids’ Kitchen,” a cooking class for kids ages 2.5-5 that focuses on healthy food choices. This class teaches kids the importance of healthy eating at an early age and gets them interested in cooking. 413-528-0457 x1154. 442 Stockbridge Road. Great Barrington, MA.
  • 11am-11:30am – STORYTIME: Every Tuesday is toddler storytime at the Lenox Library! Come by for interactive board books, stories, songs, and fingerplays. For kids 18 months to 3 years. 413-637-0197. 18 Main Street. Lenox, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am-12:30pm – STORYTIME: Weekly story time, snack and get-together for preK kids and their caregivers. Becket-Washington Library. 413-623-5483. 3367 Main Street. Becket, MA (FREE)
  • 2pm-4:30pm – LIBRARY: Kids ages 10 and up are invited to the Hatfield Public Library for Teen Tuesdays. Each meeting features a fun activity. Takes place the first and third Tuesdays of each month. 413-247-9097. 39 Main Street. Hatfield, MA.
  • 3-5pm – TEENS: The Lilly Library hosts a weekly, drop in teen program for ages 12-17yo. Activities include games, crafts, book chat, movies, snacks. 413-587-1500. 19 Meadow Street. Florence, MA (FREE)
  • 3pm – LEGOS: Lego Club is every Tuesday at the Bushnell-Sage Library! Come to the library and make new friends while creating Lego masterpieces. 413-229-7004. 48 Main Street. Sheffield, MA.
  • 3:30pm-4:30pm – LEGOS: Lego Club meets at the Adams Library the second and fourth Tuesday of each month. For kids 4-8. Please call to sign up. 413-664-4821. 92 Park Street. Adams, MA.
  • 3:30pm-4:30pm – LIBRARY TIME: Kids of all ages can come to the Millers Falls Library for Library Club! This includes games, activities, crafts, and snacks. 413-659-3801. 23 Bridge Street. Millers Falls, MA.
  • 4pm-5pm – LEGOS: Kids ages 7-12 can join the Indian Orchard Branch Library‘s Lego Questers group! Come have fun with Legos each week at the library. Space is limited; call to sign up. 413-263-6846. 44 Oak Street. Indian Orchard, MA.
  • 5:30pm-6:30pm – PLAYGROUP: Come to Gabriel Abbott Memorial School Gym for a gym group for kids up to age 8. The group is all about indoor active play, but also includes an art project, circle time, and a snack. Siblings welcome. 413-663-6593. 56 N Country Road. Florida, MA.
  • 6:30pm – STORYTIME: It’s Pajama Storytime at the Monson Free Library! Wear your pajamas and enjoy stories and fun. Happens the second Tuesday of each month. 413-267-3866. 2 High Street. Monson, MA.
  • 7:30pm – MUSIC: The M.N. Spear Memorial Library is holding a Ukulele Sing Along the first Tuesday of each month. Come to the library with your ukulele (or other instruments) and have fun playing music with community members of all ages. Ukuleles available at the library. 413-259-1213. 10 Cooleyville Road. Shutesbury, MA.

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Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

Wednesday, March 26, TBA – SPELLING BEE/FUNDRAISER: You are invited to the 14th Annual Northampton Adult Spelling Bee – you can participate, sponsor, or just come watch the bee. All proceeds benefit the Northampton Public School. More information can be found on the Northampton Education Foundation website. Takes place at JFK Middle School. Bridge Road. Florence, MA.

Wednesday, March 26, 4pm – BOOK GROUP: Harry Potter fans in third grade and up can come to the Dickinson Memorial Library for trivia, activities, a snack, and a discussion of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Come to the library on 3/27 at 1pm for a screening of the movie. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA.

Wednesday, March 26, 6pm-7:30pm – FILM/WOMEN’S STUDIES: Join Zonta Club of Northampton for a screening of Sexy Baby (2012), a documentary about how pornography, social media, and pop culture affect women and girls. The film follows three characters – a 22-year-old woman who wants to modify her body to look more the women seen in pornography, a former porn star who longs for a normal life, and a 12-year-old girl who must navigate her private vs. public life in the age of social media. Teens and adults who are interested in how the media relates to feminism and the lives of women will benefit from this screening. Takes place in the Unitarian Society of Northampton’s social room. 220 Main Street. Northampton, MA.

Wednesday, March 26, 6:30pm – FILM/ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES: The Hitchcock Center for the Environment is screening Elemental (2012) at US Fish and Wildlife in Hadley as part of their Environmental Film and Speaker Series. The documentary tells the stories of three individuals from different parts of the world, united by their deep connection to nature and desire to protect it. The film will be followed by a discussion, led by local naturalist Laurie Sanders. For more information on the series or to see the movie trailer, see the Hitchcock Center website. 413-256-6006. 300 Westgate Center Drive. Hadley, MA. (FREE)

ONGOING FOR WEDNESDAYS (Always double check events before heading out. To add your ongoing event/activity here, email us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com)

2-7pm – PIANO LESSONS: Play-a-Story Piano with Barbara Goodchild, 5-7 yrs w/ adult. Mon-Thurs., 25-55 min.lessons. Free introductory session. 413-625-8203. Cooper Lane. Shelburne, MA ($20/lesson)

  • 9am-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Palmer Monson Family Network’s infant/toddler group runs every Wednesday. Kids age 2 and under can explore age-appropriate toys and the playroom, and enjoy a snack and circle time. Please no children or siblings over age 2. 413-283-6246. 4 Springfield Street. Three Rivers, MA. (FREE)
  • 9am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Amherst Family Center has drop-in playgroup every Monday, including snacks, circle time, activities, and more. 413-256-1145. 1200 North Pleasant Street. North Amherst, MA
  • 9am-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: Kids from birth to age five and their caregivers can come to the First Congregational Church of Hatfield for playgroup, including snacks, stories, and songs. 413-586-4998 x102. 41 Main Street. Hatfield, MA.
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Stop by the Cummington Family Center for playgroup for kids 5 and under! There will be stories, arts and crafts, songs, and playtime. Takes place at Community House. Main Street. Cummington, MA.
  • 9:30am-11am – PLAYGROUP: There will be a loosely structured playgroup at the Clapp Memorial Library every Wednesday for kids from birth to age five. 413-323-0417. 19 South Main Street. Belchertown, MA.
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: There will be playgroup every Wednesday at the Lenox Community Center. 413-464-5095. 65 Walker Street. Lenox, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Northampton Parents Center is open every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:30am-11:30am for playgroup, stories, snacks, and circle time. For pre-K children and their siblings. 413-582-2636. 297 Main Street, lower level. Northampton, MA.
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The South Hadley Family Center offers playgroups every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:30am-11:30am at All Saints Episcopal Church. Stop by for open play, crafts, stories, music, and more. 413-533-7096. 7 Woodbridge Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Belchertown Family Center is open every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:30am-12noon for drop-in playgroup. 413-283-7594. 720 Franklin Street. Belchertown, MA.
  • 10am – STORYTIME: Weekly storytime at the Holyoke Public Library. 413-322-5640. 335 Maple Street. Holyoke, MA.
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Come by the Westhampton Library for playgroup the second and fourth Wednesday of each month. Features games, arts and crafts, and storytime. For kids 8 and under. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA.
  • 10:15am-11:15am – STORYTIME: Kids of all ages and their families are invited to the Carnegie Public Library for a weekly storytime, complete with crafts, stories, activities, and snacks. 413-863-3214. 201 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA.
  • 10:30am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Stop by the Edwards Library on the first and third Wednesday of each month for playgroup. Storytime, games, and arts and crafts are featured. For kids 8 and under. 30 East Street. Southampton, MA
  • 10am-11:30am – STORYTIME: Weekly storytime at the New Marlborough Library. 413-464-5095. 1 Mill River-Great Barrington Road. New Marlborough, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Weekly playgroup at Erving Elementary School for kids 5 and under. Sponsored by Community Network for Children. 978-544-5157. Northfield Road. Erving, MA.
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Weekly playgroup at Wendell Free Library for kids 5 and under. Sponsored by Community Network for Children. 978-544-5157. 7 Wendell Depot Road. Wendell, MA.
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Weekly Tales and Tunes playgroup at the Leverett Library for kids 5 and under. Sponsored by Community Network for Children. 978-544-5157. 75 Montague Road. Leverett, MA.
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Playgroup at the Gateway Family Center every Wednesday and Friday. 413-667-2203. 9 Russell Road. Huntington, MA.
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: It’s storytime at the Monson Free Library for kids ages 2-5! Come by for stories, snacks, crafts, and fun. 413-267-3866. 2 High Street. Monson, MA.
  • 10:30am-11:30am – STORYTIME: Come to the Mason Square Branch Library for storytime, songs, and crafts. For ages 3-8. 413-263-6853. 765 State Street. Springfield, MA.
  • 11am – STORYTIME: Weekly story hour at the Tilton Library. 413-665-4683. 75 North Main Street. South Deerfield, MA.
  • 11am – STORYTIME: Join the Dickinson Memorial Library for storytime every Wednesday. There will be movement, stories, music, crafts, and a snack. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA.
  • 11am – STORYTIME: Preschoolers and their caregivers can come to storytime at the Dickinson Memorial Library every Wednesday for stories, music, movement, and crafts. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA.
  • 1pm-2:30pm – PARENT SUPPORT GROUP: Every Wednesday, the Salasin Center is holding a “Parents Supporting Parents” support group. Parents and grandparents can come connect and discuss parenting in this safe environment. Free childcare is available. Please call for more info or to sign up for childcare. 413-774-4307. 474 Main Street. Greenfield, MA.
  • 3pm – CHESS: Chess Club is every Wednesday at the Bushnell-Sage Library! Come to the library and make new friends while improving your chess skills. 413-229-7004. 48 Main Street. Sheffield, MA.
  • 3:30pm – LEGOS: Have fun with LEGOs the second Wednesday of each month at the Lanesborough Public Library! 413-442-0222. 83 Main Street. Lanesborough, MA.
  • 4pm-5pm – LEGOS: The Berkshire Athenaeum hosts LEGO Club on the third Wednesday of each month. Kids can use LEGOs to experiment with basic principles of architecture, physics, and design. 413-499-9480. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 4pm – CHESS: Kids from kindergarten to 8th grade can drop by the East Longmeadow Public Library for chess! This weekly program is open to kids of all skill levels, from beginner to chess pro. Come make new friends and improve your chess skills. 413-525-5400 x4. 60 Center Square. East Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)
  • 4pm-5pm – WRITING: Forbes Library holds a writing group for children and young adults the third Wednesday of each month. Come do some free writing, story workshopping, and do exercises to beat writer’s block. All ages welcome. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA.
  • 6:30pm – STORYTIME: Pajama storytime for kids ages 3-6 at the East Longmeadow Library. 413-525-5400 x1506. 60 Center Square. East Longmeadow, MA.
  • 7:30pm-10:30pm – DANCE: Beginners and people of all skill levels can come dance the night away at Downtown Amherst Contra! This is a great way to have fun and meet new people in a low-pressure environment. Beginners can show up at 7 for a learning session. Best for older students and adults. Every Wednesday except the second Wednesday of each month. 99 Main Street. Amherst, MA. $

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Thursday, March 27th, 2014

Thursday, March 27, 12:15pm – ART HISTORY: This week’s Museums a la Carte lecture at the Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts is, “Leaving Van Gogh: Fact and Fiction in a Historical Novel” with Carol Wallace. Wallace will present an illustrated lecture on the life and death of Vincent Van Gogh. 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. >$

Thursday, March 27, 1pm – MOVIE: Harry Potter fans in third grade and up can come to the Dickinson Memorial Library for a screening of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004; rated PG). 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA.

Thursday, March 27, 4:30pm – BOOK GROUP: Kids in grades 4-6 are invite to the Monson Free Library for Fishing for Meatballs Book Group. Read a book of your choice and then come discuss it with your peers. 413-267-3866. 2 High Street. Monson, MA.

Thursday, March 27, 4:30pm-6pm – MUSIC STUDIES/COMMUNITY MEAL: Amherst Survival Center’s Music for the Soul is a concert and discussion series centered around a community meal at the Center. Each concert features music from different cultures and aims to engage new musical audiences and raise awareness about poverty in the Pioneer Valley. On March 27, come hear and learn about the history of rock ‘n roll with John Sheldon, Bob Weiner, and Smith College Professor Steve Waksman, who will lead the discussion. Music for the Soul events work to engage community members of all ages in music and the work being done by the Survival Center. 413-549-3968. 138 Sunderland Road. North Amherst, MA.

Thursday, March 27, 5:30pm-8pm – ART/CULTURAL STUDIES: Attend the reception for the Arno Maris Gallery‘s, “Threads That Bind,” an exhibition of Middle Eastern textiles. The exhibit, curated by Dr. Christina Swaidan, aims to educate the local community about the women of Islamic culture. Some of the garments on exhibit include the traditional abaya, a robe-like dress worn to Mosque and for entertaining friends and family at home, and salwar kameez, loose, pajama-like trousers with tunic shirts. This exhibition is on display until April 5 and can help teach community members about Middle Eastern culture and these unique and beautiful textiles. The Gallery is located in the Ely Campus Center on the Westfield State University campus. 413-572-4400. 577 Western Avenue. Westfield, MA.

Thursday, March 27, 6:30pm – LOCAL HISTORY: The Erving Public Library is hosting a talk by Sara Campbell, who will discuss the history of a local family – the Moores. Older students interested in local history and genealogy would enjoy this talk. 413-423-3348. 17 Moore Street. Erving, MA.

Thursday, March 27, 7pm-9pm – MUSIC STUDIES: Enjoy a performance by Joe Velez and Creacion, with Tony Messina on vocals, at Robyn Newhouse Hall. This free Latin-Caribbean concert is put on by the Community Music School of Springfield. Students with audience skills interested in jazz, Latin, and Caribbean music will enjoy this concert. 413-832-8428. 127 State Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

ONGOING FOR THURSDAYS (To add your ongoing event/activity here, email us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com)

9am-7pm – BAGPIPE LESSONS: Eric Goodchild offers Bagpipe, Violin/Fiddle and beginning Clawhammer Banjo. Mon-Fri, ages 9 & up. 413-625-8203. Cooper Lane. Shelburne, MA ($30/lesson)

  • 9am-12:30pm – PLAYGROUP: The Amherst Family Center has drop-in playgroup every Monday, including snacks, circle time, activities, and more. 413-256-1145. 1200 North Pleasant Street. North Amherst, MA
  • 9:30am-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: The CHP Family Center is holding a “Toddler Steps” playgroup for kids 18 months to three years. Takes place at CHP Family Services Building every Tuesday and Thursday. 413-464-5095. Great Barrington, MA (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Northampton Parents Center is open every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:30am-11:30am for playgroup, stories, snacks, and circle time. For pre-K children and their siblings. 413-582-2636. 297 Main Street, lower level. Northampton, MA.
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The South Hadley Family Center offers playgroups every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:30am-11:30am at All Saints Episcopal Church. Stop by for open play, crafts, stories, music, and more. 413-533-7096. 7 Woodbridge Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Belchertown Family Center is open every Tuesday and Thursday from 9:30am-12noon for drop-in playgroup. 413-283-7594. 720 Franklin Street. Belchertown, MA.
  • 9:30am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Belchertown Family Center is open every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:30am-12noon for drop-in playgroup. 413-283-7594. 720 Franklin Street. Belchertown, MA.
  • 9:45am-10:45am – ARTS & CRAFTS: The Amelia Park Children’s Museum offers weekly arts and crafts activities for kids. The theme changes each week, but the activity is always fun, educational, and often connected to other things at the museum. 413-572-4014. 29 South Broad Street. Westfield, MA.
  • 10am – MOVEMENT: The Music and Movement program with Laurie and Tom will be at the Carnegie Library every Thursday. Young children and their caregivers are invited to this fun, free program. 413-863-3214. 201 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA.
  • 10am-11am – PARENT SUPPORT GROUP: New parents and their infants from birth to one year are invited to a support group at the Greenwood Children’s Center. Come share stories about the new little one in your life. 413-565-4163. 231 Maple Road. Longmeadow, MA.
  • 10am-11:30am – ROLLERSKATING: Kids age 6 and under can come to Interskate 91 North for skating, roller racers, games, music, and more! Admission for kids includes snack and skate rental. More info here. 413-586-8344. 367 Russell Street (Inside of Hampshire Mall). Hadley, MA. >$
  • 10am-12noon – STORYTIME: The Dalton Free Public Library offers a weekly storytime, which includes stories, short films, and crafts, all designed to help kids with social and literacy skills. 413-684-6112. 462 Main Street. Dalton, MA.
  • 10am – PLAYGROUP: Play and Learn group at the Berkshire Athenaeum every Thursday includes stories, songs, and games. 413-499-9480. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11am – STORYTIME: Stop by the New Salem Library every Thursday for nursery rhymes, tales, and tunes. 978-544-6334. 23 S Main Street. New Salem, MA.
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Sponsored by the Community Health Program (CHP), Bushnell-Sage Library is hosting a Sing-A-Song playgroup for kids 0-5 and their caregivers. Runs every Thursday. 413-229-7004. 48 Main Street. Sheffield, MA.
  • 10am-11:30am – PARENT WORKSHOP: MotherWoman is returning to the Hilltowns for a monthly drop-in group for mothers of young children. The group offers a supportive environment for mothers to discuss motherhood and all aspects of raising young children. Takes place at the Cummington Family Center on the second Thursday of each month. 413-634-8853. 33 Main Street. Cummington, MA.
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Palmer Monson Family Network’s drop-in playgroup runs every Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, and is open to families with young children. Creative play, snack time, and circle time. 413-283-6246. 4 Springfield Street. Three Rivers, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: The Hatfield Public Library holds a storytime for kids 5 and under every Thursday! Come to the library for stories and fun. 413-247-9097. 39 Main Street. Hatfield, MA.
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Story hour: stories, songs, finger plays, crafts and more for preschool-age children; siblings welcome. Hatfield Library. 413-247-9097. 39 Main Street. Hatfield, MA (FREE)
  • 10:30am-11:30am – STORYTIME: Join the Emily Williston Memorial Library for storytime every Thursday! There will be snacks, stories, and crafts. 413-529-1605. 9 Park Street. Easthampton, MA.
  • 11am-11:45am – STORYTIME: Come by the Lenox Library for preschool storycraft. Kids ages 3-5 can hear stories, sing songs, and do a related craft activity. 413-637-0197. 18 Main Street. Lenox, MA. (FREE)
  • 3:30pm-5pm – CHESS: Every second and fourth Thursday, kids are invited to the Mason Library for chess. There will no instruction provided, so this event is best for kids who already have an understanding of the game. This is a great place to come play with peers, make new friends, and improve your chess skills in a relaxed and supportive environment. 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street. Great Barrington, MA.
  • 3:30pm-6:30pm – FAMILY FUN: The Salasin Center will be open for family time every Thursday. Come by for activities to do with the whole family. 413-774-4307 x4. 474 Main Street. Greenfield, MA.
  • 4:30-6pm – COMMUNITY MEAL/MOVIE: The Amherst Survival Center serves a free community meal every Thursday and screens a film for the community to enjoy together. Bring your family and come enjoy an evening with your community while learning about the work of the ASC! 413-549-3968. 138 Sunderland Road. North Amherst, MA. (FREE)

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Friday, March 28th, 2014

Friday, March 28, 10am-12noon – BOOK SWAP: Parents are invited to participate in a book swap during Easthampton Family Center‘s regular playgroup hours. Bring grown-up books to share and swap, or just come by to pick some up. This is a great way to get rid of unwanted books in a sustainable way while finding something new to read! 413-527-5496. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

Friday, March 28, 7pm-9pm – PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: Come see Sean Kimball and Heather Cupo perform on March 28 at the Village Congregational Church. This free “Friday Night Cafe” performance features live music, a snack, and a chance to spend time with other community members. 32 Main Street. Cummington, MA. (FREE)

Friday, March 28, 7:30pm – THEATER: The Hampshire Regional High School Music Department presents a production of The Sound of Music. See this classic Broadway musical (and later, film) performed by HRHS students. All ages will enjoy this performance. 413-437-5597. 19 Stage Road. Westhampton, MA. $$

Friday, March 28, 7:30pm – MUSIC STUDIES: Pianist Stephen Porter will perform “Late Styles: A program of final masterpieces by Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, and Debussy” at the First Congregational Church of Amherst. Students with audience skills and an interest in music or the piano will enjoy this concert. 413-253-3456. 165 Main Street. Amherst, MA. >$ SUGGESTED DONATION

ONGOING FOR FRIDAYS (To add your ongoing event/activity here, email us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com)

9:30am-12noon – MUSIC MOVEMENT: Simply Music Rhapsody: 3 mos.-5 yrs w/ adult. Fri & Sat. Classes by age. Free introductory session. 413-625-8203. Cooper Lane. Shelburne, MA ($12/lesson)

11:30am-12:30pm – PRENATAL YOGA: Open to all trimesters and all levels of yoga experience. No registration necessary. For info visit HRYMCA website or call Courtney at 413-303-1246. Hampshire Regional YMCA, 286 Prospect Street. Northampton, MA ($10 for non-members, free for HRYMCA members)

  • 9am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Amherst Family Center has drop-in playgroup every Monday, including snacks, circle time, activities, and more. 413-256-1145. 1200 North Pleasant Street. North Amherst, MA
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Stop by the Cummington Family Center for playgroup for kids 5 and under! There will be stories, arts and crafts, songs, and playtime. Takes place at Community House. Main Street. Cummington, MA.
  • 9am-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: Weekly playgroup at Shutesbury Elementary School for kids 5 and under. Sponsored by Community Network for Children. 978-544-5157. 23 West Pelham Road. Shutesbury, MA.
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Play and Learn group for young kids at Sunderland Elementary. 1 Swampfield Drive. Sunderland, MA.
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Kids ages 0-5 and their caregivers can stop by Whole Children for playgroup, featuring snacks and playtime. 37 Russell Street. Hadley, MA.
  • 10am – PLAYGROUP: Come watch preschool videos at the Berkshire Athenaeum every Friday! 413-499-9480. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Palmer Monson Family Network’s drop-in playgroup runs every Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, and is open to families with young children. Creative play, snack time, and circle time. 413-283-6246. 4 Springfield Street. Three Rivers, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am – STORYTIME: Preschool-aged kids can come to the Stockbridge Library for StoryCraft, a storytime and craft time with Miss Vicky! Siblings are welcome. 413-298-5501. 46 Main Street. Stockbridge, MA.
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Weekly playgroup at Sunderland Elementary School for kids 5 and under. Every Tuesday and Friday. Old Amherst Road. Sunderland, MA.
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Playgroup at the Gateway Family Center every Wednesday and Friday. 413-667-2203. 9 Russell Road. Huntington, MA.
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Easthampton Family Center is open every Monday, Tuesday, and Friday from 10am-12noon. 413-527-5496. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA.
  • 10am-12noon – PARENT WORKSHOP: The Gateway Family Center is offering a weekly workshop for parents and infants 0-12 months titled “Nurturing Your Baby.” Learn infant massage, learn about infant development, meet other parents and babies, and more. This is a great workshop for parents and their young children to do together. Childcare for older children is available. Please register. 413-667-2203. 9 Russell Road. Huntington, MA.
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Weekly “Skip and Dip” playgroup at Berkshire South RCC. 413-464-5095. 15 Crissey Road. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Stop by the Chesterfield Community Center on the first and third Friday of each month for playgroup. Storytime, games, and arts and crafts are featured. For kids 8 and under. Chesterfield, MA.
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Storytime for little ones at the Pelham Library! 413-253-0657. 2 South Valley Road. Pelham, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Weekly fitWIC playgroup at CHP Family Services Building. 413-464-5095. 442 Stockbridge Road. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am – STORYTIME: Weekly storytime for preschoolers at the Sunderland Public Library. Features stories, songs, and crafts. 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA.
  • 11am-11:30am – STORYTIME: The Berkshire Museum’s weekly Museum Adventures program features stories, songs, dancing, play time, scavenger hunts, and more, and is open to kids 18 months to 3 years. It’s a great way for young kids to explore some of what the museum has to offer! Free with museum admission. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. $
  • 11am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Play and Learn Group at Lanesborough Town Hall, featuring educational playthings, snack, art project, and circle time. For kids walking-age to five years. 413-663-6593. 83 N Main Street. Lanesborough, MA.
  • 12:30pm-2pm – PARENT/CHILD WORKSHOP: The Storrs Library‘s Pathway for Parents is a program for families with their first baby (0-15 months). Learn about the importance of reading, music, and interactive play, and how these can benefit your new baby. Please call to sign up. 413-565-4182. 693 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA.
  • 2:15pm-4pm – LEGOS: The Dickinson Memorial Library’s LEGO Club meets the second Friday of each month. Come make friends and build with LEGOs. Best for kids in grade 3 and up. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA.
  • 5:30pm – BOOK CLUB: Kids in grades 2-4 can come to the Hatfield Public Library for book club! Book clubs are a great way for kids to read for fun and then discuss books with their peers. 413-247-9097. 39 Main Street. Hatfield, MA.
  • 8pm – ASTRONOMY: The Milham Planetarium at Williams College will be open to the public for a planetarium every Friday evening (except 3/24 and 4/4). You can learn about the motions of the planets, the phases of the moon, comets, and much more! Reservations recommended. 413-597-2188. 829 Main Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

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Hilltown Families’ list of Weekly Suggested Events is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Buckland, Cummington, Deerfield, Goshen, Plainfield, Shelburne and Westhampton Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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