Suggested Events for March 29th-April 4th, 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

“Hilltown Families is an amazing resource. It is my go-to for discovering kid-friendly events each week. This website makes it really easy to find out what’s happening in and around the Valley, as well as provides great information about local resources and ideas of things to do with my child. Thank you!” – Jaime C. (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  Massachusetts

“Hilltown Families continues to be my go-to place for family events. I really appreciated the organized list of summer camps!”

Check out our featured post, 2014 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a comprehensive list of summer camps & programs in the region! 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

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

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.

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.

Apr 10

Greenfield Center SchoolThe Center School presents: Parenting, Teaching & Promoting Advocacy for Transgender Children, An Evening with Lori Duron, New York Times Book reviewed author of Raising my Rainbow: Adventures in Raising a Fabulous, Gender Creative Son, Thursday, April 10th at 7:00pm at Seelye Hall, Smith College in Northampton. Based on her (one million subscribers & counting) blog, Rainbow is the first memoir written by a mother that chronicles the daily joys & struggles of raising a gender-variant child. For the first time ever in the Pioneer Valley, Ms. Duron will speak in an evening sponsored by The Center School. The event is free to the public. Tickets are limited & subject to availability, so please call 413-773-1700 to reserve. www.centerschool.net

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.

Introducing The School for Contemporary Dance and Thought (SCDT), offering innovative dance training and performance studies for all ages. SCDT is made up of a collective of seasoned teachers who are independent performance artists with international experience. Classes include: Creative Contemporary Dance (ages 6-12) Song, Story and Dance (ages 2.5-4) Friday morning advanced Contemporary Dance, Hip-Hop Urban fusion for kids and adults Contemporary Indian Dance (ages 6-12) (Mohiniyattam/Bharatanatyam), Shaking Practice, and The Observatory: Tuning Scores Laboratory. Please visit the website for class schedules, faculty, and registration information: scdt2014.weebly.com

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 29th-April 4th, 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 29th, 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. This week listen to the modern “Pioneers of Sound!” with Elska as she takes us on a sonic journey into the world of early electronic music, synthesizers, micro-beats, bells and more.  Broadcasting from her Arctic island home, Elska teaches us about the origins of the most innovative sounds in pop music, how they were made, and then she plays us fascinating examples from pop music, art music, classical and some music that defies classification all together.  Get ready for a true sonic journey with “Pioneers of Sound!” —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 29, 9am-12noon – PARENT WORKSHOP: The Community Network for Children is offering a workshop on the topic of “Supporting a Father’s Role in a Child’s Life: For fathers, grandfathers, male role models, and those who support their involvement.” Bill Corbett of Cooperative Kids will lead this workshop/discussion. Breakfast and childcare provided. Takes place at Erving Elementary School. Please register in advance. 978-544-5157. Northfield Road. Erving, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 29, 9am-12noon – COMMUNITY FAIR: Come to the Agawam High School Cafeteria on March 29 for the Agawam Community Informational Fair, sponsored by the Agawam Family and Community Program! This community fair features exhibitors like community support programs, family programs, sports, clubs, preschools, Agawam Public Library, and more; demonstrations by Fire Fighter Pam, Agawam Public Library, and Zoo on the Go; and family activities like a StoryWalk, face painting, and a health clinic for stuffed animals and dolls. Please bring a non-perishable food item to donate to the Best Life Food Ministry. 413-821-0597. 760 Cooper Street. Agawam, MA.

Saturday, March 29, 9am-2pm – BABYSITTING CERTIFICATION: The Children’s Study Home is offering a free American Red Cross Babysitting Certification Course for kids ages 11-15. Here kids 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 29, 9:30am-4pm – CULTURAL STUDIES/HISTORY: This weekend is Native American Weekend at Old Sturbridge Village. Hawk Henries will demonstrate Native American flute-making and music, you can take a walk with an Indian Doctress, hear Sogalikisos Algonkian winter stories, and more, in addition to the Village’s regular demonstrations and activities. Native American Weekend offers families an opportunity to learn about different Native American cultures in New England throughout history. Kids under 17 get in free with a paying adult. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. $$

Saturday, March 29, 9:30am-5pm – GEOLOGY: The Western Mass. Mineral, Jewelry, and Fossil Show takes place on March 29 and 30 at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center in Northampton. Hosted by the Connecticut Valley Mineral Club, this event features vendors from all over New England, displaying minerals, fossils, and jewelry from around the world. Families can learn about the minerals and fossils on display, and even buy them if they wish. 1 Atwood Drive. Northampton, MA. >$

Saturday, March 29, 10am – CULINARY ARTS: Kids can come improve their cooking and/or baking skills at the Berkshire Co-Op Market’s April Fool’s Day Mystery Recipe Kids Can Cook event! Come have fun with food and learn to make a new dish. Please sign-up in advance. 413-528-9697. 42 Bridge Street. Great Barrington, MA.

Saturday, March 29, 10am-4pm – FOOD FESTIVAL: Valley Vegfest happens today, 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. Entertaining and educational opportunities for the entire family. Takes place at JFK Middle School. Northampton, MA (FREE)

Saturday, March 29, 10am-4pm – MUSIC FESTIVAL: The River presents their annual Meltdown: Family Music and Book Fest at Smith Vocational High School. There will be entertainment for all ages, including music, authors, puppets, and storytellers, in addition to a petting zoo, dance club, bounce house, circus, vendors, and more. Meltdown is a great free family event with something fun for all ages! 80 Locust Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 29, 10am-4pm – ART: The Norman Rockwell Museum’s newest exhibition, “Baseball, Rodeos, and Automobiles: The Art of Murray Tinkelman” opens on March 29. Tinkelman is an award-winning illustrator known for his pen and ink drawings of a variety of subjects. There is also an opening reception for this show on March 29, from 6pm-8pm ($$). 413-298-4100. 9 Route 183. Stockbridge, MA. $

Saturday, March 29, 11am – CHEMISTRY: Be a mad scientist at the Berkshire Museum! Along with the help of the museum’s very own crazy chemist, kids can learn how to do exciting and surprising (and safe!) experiments with regular household materials. Kitchen Kaboom! is totally kid-safe, but adults must accompany participating scientists. Free with museum admission. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. $

Saturday, March 29, 11am-2pm – FAMILY CELEBRATION: Don’t miss Hadley PTO‘s Winter Carnival, held at Hadley Elementary School. There will be loads of fun events for the whole family. 21 River Drive. Hadley, MA.

Saturday, March 29, 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 29, 12noon-3:30pm – HIKING: See two great Berkshire waterfalls with the Berkshire Natural Resources Council on a hike at Race Brook Falls! The moderate, three mile hike will take you on a tour of these falls. The hike features some steep elevation gains and would therefore be best for older teens and adults. 413-499-0596. Route 41. Sheffield, MA.

Saturday, March 29, 1pm & 4:30pm – DANCE/BALLET: Pioneer Valley Ballet presents a performance of Beauty and the Beast at the Academy of Music. This moving ballet is based on the French tale by Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont (1756). Come see PVB’s talented dancers dance to the music of Czech composer Antonin Dvorak. Tickets can be purchased in advance. 413-584-9032 x105. 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA. $$-$$$

Saturday, March 29, 1pm-3pm – COMMUNITY SERVICE: Come to the Dinosaur Footprints and get your hands dirty while learning about invasive species! “Property Protectors: Garlic Mustard Grab” is a great outdoor community service activity for all ages. Garlic mustard is an invasive species that threatens butterflies, jack-in-the-pulpit, native oak seedlings, and more. You can help prevent these negative impacts by helping the Trustees of Reservations in removing garlic mustard from the Dinosaur Footprints. 413-532-1631 x21. Route 5. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 29, 1:30pm-3pm – ANIMAL STUDIES: Did you know that bats are the only mammals capable of true and sustained flight? Attract these amazing creatures to your home with bat houses! Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary is holding a Bat House Making Workshop for families, in which beginner and expert woodworkers are invited to learn all about bats and the benefits of bat houses, and then make one of their own! Space is limited; please register in advance. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road. Lenox, MA. $

Saturday, March 29, 2pm & 7pm: PUPPET FEST: Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts Puppet Fest presents, “Who’s Hungry.” Dan Froot, Dan Hurlin, and Amy Denio collaborate with an allstar cast of actors, dancers, and puppeteers on this poignant work following the lives of five hungry residents of Santa Monica, CA, to weave elements of those five life stories into a 55-minute theatrical spectacle featuring a variety of puppetry styles, high velocity dancing, and spirited music. The audience is seated before a 24-foot dinner table, which transforms into a runway-style puppet stage. 107 Main Street. 413-664-8718. North Adams, MA (>$)

Saturday, March 29, 2pm & 7:30pm – THEATER/MUSICAL: 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. $$

Saturday, March 29, 2pm-4pm – VOLUNTEER/ANIMAL STUDIES: The Berkshire Humane Society’s “Humane Hero” program gives kids ages 10-14 the opportunity to volunteer at the Humane Society, learn about the responsibilities of pet ownership, learn how to be an advocate and educator, and learn how to effectively fundraise in order to create change in their community. The Humane Society is offering a Humane Hero workshop on dog behavior and training. More information on becoming a Humane Hero can be found on the Berkshire Humane Society website. You can sign up anytime! 413-447-7878 x29. 214 Barker Road. Pittsfield, MA.

Saturday, March 29, 2pm-4pm – SUSTAINABILITY: Learn about permaculture design and how it can help you to connect with your backyard landscape at a workshop hosted by Transition Amherst. Local permaculture experts from Broadfork Permaculture Design will teach about permaculture and how it can be integrated into the residential landscape. This workshop is best for older students and adults interested in permaculture and/or landscape architecture. Please RSVP. 413-253-9755. 44 Beston Street. Amherst, MA. (SUGGESTED DONATION >$)

Saturday, March 29, 3:30pm – LIVING HISTORY: When you think of the the history of electricity, who comes to mind? Thomas Edison? What about George Westinghouse? Veteran actor Douglas Weeks will perform a one-man show titled “Westinghouse and Edison: War of Currents” at Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum. Weeks will take on the role of George Westinghouse, 19th century inventor, industrialist and a pioneer in the early days of the electrical industry (who also summered in Lenox). Although Westinghouse invented a wide range of mechanical equipment including the railroad air brake, Weeks will focus on the titanic battle between Westinghouse and Thomas Edison in creating a system for distributing electrical power. Older youth with audience skills interested in learning about history and the industrial revolution will enjoy this living history program. A Victorian tea will be offered after the performance. RSVP. 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street. Lenox, MA ($$)

Saturday, March 29, 5pm-7pm – ICE SKATING: FMC Ice Sports and the Collins-Moylan Arena present their annual spring ice show, “Fun and Games.” Come see skaters of all ages showcase their skills. Those who are enrolled in FMC ice programs are welcome to participate/skate in the event. Registration information can be found at the link above. 413-772-6891. 41 Barr Avenue. Greenfield, MA. $

Saturday, March 29, 5:30pm-8:30pm – NATURE STUDIES: “The Big Night” at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary is an enchanted evening for families all about vernal pools! Meet characters from vernal pools, like spotted salamanders, wood frogs, and fairy shrimp on a guided 45-minute tour around the Sanctuary grounds. Learn about these animals and their lives and habitats through short skits, as well as games, slide presentations, and meeting live critters before and after your tour. This event is a fun way for families to learn about vernal pools and the species that rely on them for survival. Pre-paid advance registration is required. 413-584-3009. 127 Combs Road. Easthampton, MA. $

Saturday, March 29, 7pm – ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES/FILM: Project Native’s Environmental Film Festival kicks off tonight at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center with a screening of Revolution (2012; rated PG), Rob Stewart’s award-winning film exploring the interconnectedness of all living things and the importance of conservation to human livelihood and the health of the planet. 413-274-3433. 14 Castle Street. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 29, 7pm – CONCERT: Enjoy a performance by Canadian vocal trio Finest Kind at the Montague Common Hall on March 29! The group is known for their beautiful vocal harmonies and folk songs from many different sources – word-of-mouth, commercial recordings, and folk collections from past centuries. Students with audience skills and a love of music will like this performance. Tickets are available in advance. 413-367-9761. 34 Main Street. Montague, MA. $$

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

Saturday, March 29, 7pm-11pm – AUCTION/DANCE: Come to the Garden House at Look Park for ArtSpark Gala 2014, the annual auction and dance benefit for Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School. There will be music by The O-Tones, food by The Lone Wolf, silent and live auctions, as well as a raffle. This is a fun night out for parents and a great way to support a local school! More information and RSVP info available here. 413-268-3421 x38. 300 North Main Street. Florence, MA. (FUNDRAISER)

Saturday, March 29, 8pm – LIVE MUSIC: Head over to Stanton Hall for the Huntington Recreation Dance, with live music by Shut Up and Dance. Wear green and bring your own snacks and drinks (BYOB) to this fun St. Patrick’s Day-themed concert, organized by the Huntington Recreation Committee. For ages 21 and up. 413-667-0085. Route 20 & Route 112. Huntington, MA. >$

Saturday, March 29, 8pm – DANCE PARTY: The 6th Annual Full-Belly Benefit Dance Party is on March 29 at JCA Social Hall. Support local food security, the Amherst and Northampton Survival Centers, and the Kestrel Land Trust. Dance to live music performed by The No-No’s and June and the Bee. There will be a cash bar provided by Valley Malt, raffles, and more. Come out and support local food at this great event! Tickets are available in advance at A.J. Hastings in Amherst and State Street Fruit Store in Northampton. 742 Main Street. Amherst, MA. (FUNDRAISER)

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Sunday, March 30th, 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.

Sunday, March 30, 9:30am-4pm – CULTURAL STUDIES/HISTORY: This weekend is Native American Weekend at Old Sturbridge Village. Hawk Henries will demonstrate Native American flute-making and music, you can take a walk with an Indian Doctress, hear Sogalikisos Algonkian winter stories, and more, in addition to the Village’s regular demonstrations and activities. Native American Weekend offers families an opportunity to learn about different Native American cultures in New England throughout history. Kids under 17 get in free with a paying adult. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. $$

Sunday, March 30, 10am-4pm – AVIATION/SPACE: The New England Air Museum is hosting a Space Expo, co-sponsored by the Connecticut Space Grant Consortium and UTC Aerospace Systems. Many exhibitors from around New England will be present and there will be tons of activities for all ages. You can meet R2D2, pilot a spacecraft simulator, touch a meteorite, learn about the atmosphere and geology of Mars, meet NASA astronaut Daniel Burbank, and much more. This expo will get kids and adults of all ages excited about space! 860-623-3305. 36 Perimeter Road. Windsor Locks, CT. $

Sunday, March 30, 10am-4pm – GEOLOGY: The Western Mass. Mineral, Jewelry, and Fossil Show takes place on March 29 and 30 at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center in Northampton. Hosted by the Connecticut Valley Mineral Club, this event features vendors from all over New England, displaying minerals, fossils, and jewelry from around the world. Families can learn about the minerals and fossils on display, and even buy them if they wish. 1 Atwood Drive. Northampton, MA. >$

Sunday, March 30, 10am-10pm – ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES/FILM: Project Native’s Environmental Film Festival continues today at the Triplex Cinema. Award-winning documentaries about a variety of current environmental issues will be screened all day at the theater, and older students and adults interested in these topics will enjoy learning about the issues and seeing these fascinating films. The first film of the day is Flight of the Butterflies (2012), which will be screened in 3D and is appropriate for children and families. A full list of films can be found on Project Native’s website, which is linked to above. Seating is limited. 413-274-3433. 70 Railroad Street. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, March 30, 10:30am-12noon – LITERACY/STORYWALK: Join the Community Network for Children for a family hike and StoryWalk led by Dawn Marvin Ward. Read along with ABC Animal Jamboree by Giles Andreae while exploring the trail behind the Leverett Library. Listen for birds, look for animal tracks, and enjoying spending time outdoors with friends and family on this casual hike. Please call for more information. 978-544-5157. 75 Montague Road. Leverett, MA. [POSTPONED]

Sunday, March 30, 1pm – ART HISTORY: The Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts is offering a docent-led “mini-tour” with Pat McCarthy, titled “Revolution vs. Tradition: Emerging Trends in Modernism and Regionalism at the Beginning of the 20th Century.” McCarthy will compare modernism and regionalism using works in the museum’s collection. Free with museum admission. 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. $$

Sunday, March 30, 1pm & 4:30pm – DANCE/BALLET: Pioneer Valley Ballet presents a performance of Beauty and the Beast at the Academy of Music. This moving ballet is based on the French tale by Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont (1756). Come see PVB’s talented dancers dance to the music of Czech composer Antonin Dvorak. Tickets can be purchased in advance. 413-584-9032 x105. 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA. $$-$$$

Sunday, March 30, 1pm-4pm – COLLEGE FAIR: The Springfield National College Fair takes place March 30 and 31 at Eastern States Exposition. Teens can come meet admissions representatives from many different colleges, including both four-year and two-year institutions. This is a great chance to see what different schools have to offer and to learn about each school’s programs, campus life, sports, and more in order to determine which schools might be a good fit. 413-737-2443. 1305 Memorial Avenue. West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, March 30, 2pm – CLOTHING/ART/HISTORY: Discover the fascinating history of hats at the Norman Rockwell Museum with Curator Joyce K. Schiller! Schiller will discuss the importance of hats in the 20th Century, what hats reveal about their wearers, and works of art that feature hats. This talk would be best for older students or adults. Free with museum admission. 413-298-4100. 9 Route 183. Stockbridge, MA. $

Sunday, March 30, 2pm – HISTORY: New York Times bestselling author Andrew Carroll will be at the Springfield Armory to present a talk and book signing on his Legacy Project. The Project began as a collection of the wartime correspondence of US troops, and ended up as a massive web of stories about extraordinary people and places since forgotten. Older students and adults interested in military or US history will enjoy this talk. 413-734-8551. 1 Armory Square. Springfield, MA.

Sunday, March 30, 2pm – THEATER/MUSICAL: 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. $$

Sunday, March 30, 2pm – MUSIC/OPERA: Memorial Hall presents a free screening of the Metropolitan Opera’s performance of The Magic Flute. Mozart’s famous fairytale opera features magic bells, dancing animals, dragons, a hero and heroine, and much more. This production was directed by Julie Taymor in 2004 and is adapted for children, so it is 90 minutes and has been translated into English. This production is ideal for introducing children to opera – it is funny and engaging, yet it also teaches important lessons about patience and distinguishing right from wrong. More information, including a synopsis of the production, can be found on the Memorial Hall website. 413-625-3052. 51 Bridge Street. Shelburne Falls, MA. (FREE)

March 30, 3pm: PUPPET FEST: Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts Puppet Fest presents, “Who’s Hungry.” Dan Froot, Dan Hurlin, and Amy Denio collaborate with an allstar cast of actors, dancers, and puppeteers on this poignant work following the lives of five hungry residents of Santa Monica, CA, to weave elements of those five life stories into a 55-minute theatrical spectacle featuring a variety of puppetry styles, high velocity dancing, and spirited music. The audience is seated before a 24-foot dinner table, which transforms into a runway-style puppet stage. 107 Main Street. 413-664-8718. North Adams, MA (>$)

Sunday, March 30, 3:30pm – MUSIC/CHILDREN’S PERFORMANCE: Mama Doni Zasloff will be at Lander-Grinspoon Academy to present the premiere of her new film series, Mama Doni’s Jewish Holiday Party! She and acoustic guitar player Eric Lindberg will perform their blend of traditional Jewish melodies and contemporary bluegrass sounds. Mama Doni will sing, dance, and tell stories to audience members of all ages. This fun family event is a good opportunity to both learn about Jewish holidays and enjoy fun live music. Mama Doni has also been a Guest DJ on the Hilltown Family Variety Show several times, for the Purim Episode, the Passover Episode, and the Heart of Chanukah Episode. 413-584-6822. 257 Prospect Street. Northampton, MA. $

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Monday, March 31st, 2014

Monday, March 31, 9am-11:30am – COLLEGE FAIR: The Springfield National College Fair takes place March 30 and 31 at Eastern States Exposition. Teens can come meet admissions representatives from many different colleges, including both four-year and two-year institutions. This is a great chance to see what different schools have to offer and to learn about each school’s programs, campus life, sports, and more in order to determine which schools might be a good fit. 413-737-2443. 1305 Memorial Avenue. West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Monday, March 31, 5:30pm-8pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: The Gill-Montague Family Center is offering a self-care workshop with Katherine Golub titled, “Winding Down, Filling Up. Golub will talk about how you can wind down and center yourself in order to create more energy for yourself. Childcare and dinner (5:30pm-6pm) provided. Workshop presented in Spanish (6pm-6:45pm) and English (6:45pm-7:30pm). Please RSVP. 413-863-4804 x1004. 78 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA.

Monday, March 31, 6pm-7pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Jay Ducharme presents, “Made in the Happy Valley – The Happiness Machine” at the Wistariahurst Museum. In 1988, Holyoke resident John Hickey moved a vintage merry-go-round from Mountain Park to the center of the city, saving an important piece of Holyoke’s history. Ducharme will share this story and the history of the merry-go-round. 413-322-5660. 238 Cabot Street. Holyoke, MA. $

Monday, March 31, 7pm – HISTORY: Westfield State University presents a lecture by Susanna Ashton, Professor of English at Clemson University. “Was Uncle Tom from South Carolina?: The storied life of fugitive slave, international activist, and Springfield resident John Andrew Jackson” is the title of Ashton’s presentation, which tells of Jackson’s 1846 escape from a South Carolina plantation and subsequent journey to Western Massachusetts, his time spent in hiding with Harriet Beecher Stowe, his trip to England and Scotland, and his life in Springfield when he settled there in 1867. This talk would be interesting to older students and adults interested in US history and African American studies. The lecture is free and open to the public. Takes place in the Loughman Living Room in Scanlon Hall on the Westfield State University Campus. 577 Western Avenue. Westfield, 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, April 1st, 2014

Tuesday, April 1, 6:30pm – LOCAL HISTORY: The Stockbridge Library’s Museum and Archives is offering a local history program on the first Tuesday of each month, entitled “Behind Closed Doors: At Home in Stockbridge.” Each program focuses on the town’s historic homes, their history, and the people who lived in them. Current Stockbridge homeowners will present this information about their homes and the previous residents. This month’s program is entitled, “High Style in the 18th Century.” Those interested in local history will enjoy these programs. 413-298-5501. 46 Main Street. Stockbridge, MA.

ONGOING FOR TUESDAYS (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-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.
  • 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, April 2nd, 2014

Wednesday, April 2, 6pm – LOCAL HISTORY/TECHNOLOGY: Discover an interesting bit of local history at a Holyoke History Room guest lecture by Amanda Rookey, entitled “The Olmsted’ Brothers’ Legacy in Holyoke.” Rookey will discuss the history of Holyoke’s parks in the early 20th Century. Nathan Avery, the city’s mayor from 1904-1910, requested the Olmsted brothers’ provide recommendations for improving outdoor life in Holyoke. Rookey will discuss some of the recommendations and their effects on the city in her talk. Older students and adults interested in local history and landscape architecture will enjoy this talk. Takes place in the Library’s Community Room. 413-420-8107. 250 Chestnut Street. Holyoke, 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)

  • 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, April 3rd, 2014

Thursday, April 3, 12:15pm – 12:15pm – ART HISTORY: This week’s Museums a la Carte lecture at the Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts is, “Abigail’s Garden: The History of a New England Garden,” with Laurie Ellen Pazzanno. Pazzanno will talk about John and Abigail Adams’ garden at their home in Quincy, MA. The garden was created by a wealthy sugar planter in the 1730s, then weeded and re-planted with fruits, vegetables, and flowers by the Adams family, to be later used as a tree nursery by their son John Quincy. Learn about the fascinating presidential and horticultural histories of this beautiful garden. 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. >$

Thursday, April 3, 4pm-5pm – BOOK GROUP: The Mason Library‘s Massachusetts Children’s Book Award Nominees book group’s last meeting is today! Come for a pizza party! 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street. Great Barrington, MA.

Thursday, April 3, 5pm-8pm – PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: The fourth season of Culture and Cocktails continues on April 3 at the Springfield Museums! This month’s event is “Festival of Flowers.” The evening includes a demonstration by a local florist, live music, floral-inspired cocktails, and more. You must be 21 or older to attend this event. 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. $

Thursday, April 3, 7pm – THEATER: Actress Barbara Bates Smith and musician Jeff Sebens will perform Go, Granny D! at the Hampshire College Red Barn. The performance is about Doris “Granny D” Haddock who, at age 90, walked 3,200 miles to promote campaign finance reform. Smith and Sebens present a live reenactment of Granny D’s cross-country journey, which was just one of her many accomplishments as a lifelong activist. A Q&A will follow the performance. Seating is limited. 413-253-0633. 893 West Street. Amherst, MA.

Thursday, April 3, 7pm – PSYCHOLOGY: Parents, teachers, mental health professionals, education students, and even interested older students are invited to Daniel Goleman, PhD’s presentation, “Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence,” at the Academy of Music. Goleman will discuss why attention is an important mental asset in many aspects of life – relationships, careers, etc. Proceeds benefit the Academy at Charlemont. Tickets available in advance. 413-584-9032 x105. 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA. $$

Thursday, April 3, 8pm – THEATER: Mt. Holyoke College presents a performance of Rent, the hit Broadway musical based on Puccini’s opera La Boheme. This contemporary rock musical chronicles the lives of young artists and musicians struggling to create and survive in New York City’s East Village, and focuses on friendship, love, and life. Rent is best for teens and adults. Takes place in the Rooke Theatre on the Mt. Holyoke College campus. Tickets for the performance can be reserved in advance. 413-538-2406. Morgan Street. South Hadley, MA. $

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

  • 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, April 4th, 2014

Friday, April 4, 2:30pm – MUSIC: Kids in grade 3 and up can come to the Dickinson Memorial Library to learn how to play the ukulele. Kids will learn how to hold, tune, and strum these instruments. This is a great opportunity for kids to become acquainted with a new instrument! Ukuleles provided. Please register in advance; space is limited. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA.

Friday, April 4, 6pm-9pm: ART OPENING: Premiere of BUTCH: Not Like The Other Girls, a photo-based exhibition by SD Holman at Eastworks opens tonight. The conversation that Holman raises in this show goes beyond imagery… it’s a conversation about how we identify and label gender, and how our perceptions become projections to make ourselves and our world “safe” vs stepping across the lines and fears to engage in genuine dialogue. The conversation make us ask how we see ourselves and our identity within the language we are limited to, but not necessarily bound by. The exhibit opens up that conversation between and amongst youth and adults as we continue to discover and express our “self” throughout our growing lives. US premiere of SD Holman’s show will be exhibited at the Mill Arts Project in the Eastworks building from April 4-May 4. 116 Pleasant Street suite 137. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

Friday, April 4, 7pm – THEATER: Don’t miss Mt. Everett Regional School‘s performance of Grease, based on the classic 1978 musical film. This production stars students from the school who will sing, dance, and act out this fun story. 413-229-8778. 491 Berkshire School Road. Sheffield, MA.

Friday, April 4, After dark – ASTRONOMY: Learn about the night sky with Peter Talmadge at Dickinson Memorial Library. Call for more information. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA.

Friday, April 4, 7:30pm – ASTRONOMY: Join the Springfield Museums for “Stars Over Springfield,” an introductory astronomy talk and star viewing at the Science Museum’s observatory. This month, Tim Connolly will present a talk titled, “The Pathology of Our Night Sky.” The event is recommended for kids 8 and up, but younger children are welcome. If it is cloudy or rainy, a planetarium show will be presented in place of the live star viewing. 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. >$

Friday, April 4, 8pm – THEATER: Mt. Holyoke College presents a performance of Rent, the hit Broadway musical based on Puccini’s opera La Boheme. This contemporary rock musical chronicles the lives of young artists and musicians struggling to create and survive in New York City’s East Village, and focuses on friendship, love, and life. Rent is best for teens and adults. Takes place in the Rooke Theatre on the Mt. Holyoke College campus. Tickets for the performance can be reserved in advance. 413-538-2406. Morgan Street. South Hadley, MA. $

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

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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