Suggested Events for April 5th-11th, 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

“I SO appreciate being able to go through your eNewsletter each Thursday evening to find the kinds of events & activities that appeal to me & my family! The format allows me to first scan the outdoor, educational and/or service opportunities, and then fine-tooth search through the day-by-day ‘suggested events.’ I usually check out at least a post or two as well – and I often email a link to the eNewsletter to a friend whom I think will be interested. I rely on Hilltown Families more & more as my son gets older – especially since we started home-schooling. Thanks very much for your excellent work, folks!” Susan M. (Amherst, 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

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

Open House: Apr 5

Visit the Montessori School of Northampton (MSN), 51 Bates Street, for an open house on Saturday, April 5, 2014 from 10:30am to 12noon! Parents of students from ages 2 through 12 interested in September 2014 admission are invited to tour the school, participate in an art project and music circle, and meet staff. MSN offers a Little Children’s House program for toddlers from age 2, a Children’s House (preschool/kindergarten) program for ages 2 years 9 months through 6, and an Elementary program for ages 6 through 12. MSN is accredited by both the American Montessori Society (AMS) and the Association of Independent Schools of New England (AISNE). For information, please call 413-586-4538 or visit www.northamptonmontessori.org.

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

Apr 13

Take your family on a tour through pre-historic Australia with Erth’s DINOSAUR ZOO Live™ where an eye-popping array of ancient creatures come to life on stage. Meet a menagerie of insects, mammals & dinosaurs in their ancient environment, in this highly imaginative, entertaining & educational live show. Brought to life by skilled performers & puppeteers, you’ll experience the sweetly curious baby Dryosaur, the peaceful hulk Titanosaur, and the teeth-gnashing T-rex. It all happens at the FAC Concert Hall on Sunday, April 13 at 4pm. Free pre-show family fest at 3pm in lobby. Tickets are only $20/adults & $10/kids 17 & under. Family 4-packs are $50. For tickets call 413-545-2511 or 1-800-999-UMAS or online: www.fineartcenter.com. Amherst, MA.

Apr 17-19; 24-26

In a city reminiscent of Batman’s Gotham, water is worth its weight in gold due to a 20-year shortage. The citizens must use toilets run by a corrupt corporation willing to do anything to make a buck. In this desolate world, one young man has decided enough is enough and begins a rebellion to save the oppressed poor. Urinetown: The Musical is an irreverent musical satire- a tale of greed, corruption, revolution, and love. April 17-19 and 24-26 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $10 general admission, $7 students/seniors. Tickets are available at: wnsboxoffice.tixato.com/buy/urinetown. The Williston Theatre is located in Scott Hall at 18 Payson Avenue, Easthampton. Parking is available, free of charge, behind the building.

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.

On Friday, April 11th from 4-7pm: ACT OF KINDNESS: Flowers for Friends: A Free Family Friday Night Event at The Art Garden with Hilltown Families. Sign up to bring your kids and come join your neighbors in a free community art event, painting terracotta flower pots to plant with pansies and then pass along to those in your community. With the idea of spreading kindness and beauty, families are encouraged to pass their posies along to an elder in their neighborhood, or their librarian, classroom teacher, receptionist at the hospital or animal shelter, or other community space of their choice. Space is limited. Pre-registration is kindly requested. Shelburne Falls, MA (FREE)

Easter is around the corner: April 20th. During Easter many towns host egg hunts for their residents. Find an egg hunt nearest you, along with spring time craft opportunities, brunch and Easter Bunny appearances and make your family plans to get out into your community and celebrate. Check our list of Easter Events in Western MA.  With nearly 30 opportunities already posted, this growing list is your go-to resource for Easter and spring time celebrations in the region!

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
April 5th-11th, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets

Berkshire Family Fun

Events Happening in the Hilltowns | ♦ On-going Events

Saturday, April 5th, 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.orgBrandon Smith will be our guest DJ! Brandon wants to be an astronaut. What do you want to be? Listen for a variety of songs about what you can be when you grow up! —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, April 5, REGISTRATION DEADLINE – EASTER: April 5 is the last day to register for the Ludlow Community Center’s Eggcellent Easter Egg Hunt, which takes place on Sunday, April 13 at 12noon. Get your picture taken with the Easter Bunny (12noon-1pm) and then participate in the egg hunt (1pm). Please bring your own basket. 413-583-2072. 91 Claudia’s Way. Ludlow, MA. >$

Saturday, April 5, TBA – LOCAL HISTORY: Join the Mill River Greenway Initiative for a “Riverwalk” in Downtown Northampton. Walk from Paradise Pond to Old South Street, discovering the history of Paradise Pond, the Mill River, and Northampton. This walk would be best for older students interested in local history. Pre-registration required – email info@millrivergreenway.org to register; space is limited. Northampton, MA.

Saturday, April 5, TBA – EASTER: Bring some hardboiled eggs to the Granby Free Public Library for Easter egg coloring and decorating. This is a fun way to celebrate Easter and get creative with a hands-on activity. 413-467-3320. 297 East State Street. Granby, MA.

Saturday, April 5, ALL DAY – STORY MAZE: The Hatfield Public Library‘s annual Story Maze begins April 5 and will be up until April 26. This Hatfield tradition, inspired by the StoryWalk, features books written and illustrated by local kids and displayed on the library lawn in a maze-like pathway. Kids and adults alike will enjoy seeing these creative and imaginative stories in an outdoor setting. 413-247-9097. 39 Main Street. Hatfield, MA.

Saturday, April 5, 9am-1pm – VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: Teens and tweens can gain experience volunteering at the Hatfield Public Library! Help set up for the library’s Story Maze. This is a good opportunity for tw/eens to make new friends and gain experience volunteering. 413-247-9097. 39 Main Street. Hatfield, MA.

Saturday, April 5, 9am-4:30pm – ANIMAL STUDIES/AGRICULTURE: The UMass Pre-Veterinary and Animal Science Club’s Annual Baystate Livestock Classic takes place April 5 at Hadley Farm. Students and faculty take part in this show, which has been around since 1938, and offers food and fun activities for all ages. Kids can learn about livestock animals and see them up close. 413-545-2312. 111 North Maple Street. Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 5, 9:30am & 11am – THEATER: Red Door Theatre’s Tiny Tales presents a production of Peter Pan. Tiny Tales offers participatory performances for kids ages 3-8. Kids are invited onstage to take part in the production and perform alongside seasoned actors. This performance is a fun event for kids, who will enjoy the interactive nature of the show. Tickets can be reserved in advance. 413-789-2026. 152 South Westfield Street. Feeding Hills, MA. <$

Saturday, April 5, 9:30am-12:30pm – LUNCH DATE: Parents can enjoy a day out and kids can have fun at Berkshire South Regional Community Center‘s “Kids’ Day Out!” Drop your child (ages 2-12) off at the Center then have a few hours to yourself. The Center will provide games, projects, gym time, swimming, and a pizza lunch. Please register at least 48 hours in advance. 413-528-2810. 15 Crissey Road. Great Barrington, MA. $

Saturday, April 5, 9:30am-4:30pm – SHEEP SHEARING: What do you know about sheep shearing? Come learn about shearing and the wool harvest at Winterberry Farm at their Shearing Day! There will be music, food, demonstrations, and a chance to see 30 sheep get sheared (9:30am-12noon). A great chance for families to learn about this traditional process. 340 Wilson Hill Road. Colrain, MA. (FREE/DONATIONS ACCEPTED)

Saturday, April 5, 10am & 12noon – THEATER: Enjoy a performance of The Jungle Book by Starlight’s Youth Theatre at Amherst Regional Middle School! See this fun play about Mowgli and his animal companions, starring local children. 170 Chestnut Street. Amherst, MA. >$

Saturday, April 5, 10am-12noon – BIRD STUDIES: Observe birds and learn about bird banding at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. Sanctuary volunteers will demonstrate how to use mist nets and what information can be gathered through bird banding. Visitors can come and go from the program as they wish. Free with Sanctuary admission. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road. Lenox, MA. >$

Saturday, April 5, 10am-12noon – HIKING: Join Berkshire Natural Resources Council for an easy three-mile hike at Hollow Fields. Explore this 139-acre property and enjoy great views of Yokun Ridge. This hike follows mowed paths and wood roads, with moderate elevation changes, making it a great hike for older students. 413-499-0596. Perry’s Peak Road. Richmond, MA.

Saturday, April 5, 10am-12noon – VOLUNTEER: The Easthampton Community Center has a great volunteer opportunity – stuffing eggs for the annual Easter egg hunt! There are 18,000 eggs to stuff with about 600 pounds of candy in time for the April 12th egg hunt. Come to the Center to help out. 413-527-5240. 12 Clark Street. Easthampton, MA.

Saturday, April 5, 10am-2pm – HEALTH/SAFETY: The Coordinated Family and Community Engagement Council is holding the second annual Hilltown Health and Safety Fair at Gateway Regional School Complex. There will be activities for all ages, including massage therapy, yoga, line dancing, sports clinics, blood pressure screenings, music, children’s games, a talk by Andy Myers (who hiked the Appalachian Trail after age 70), and more! This fair is a great way to teach kids and adults why it is important to stay healthy and how that can be accomplished. 12 Littleville Road. Huntington, MA.

Saturday, April 5, 10am-12:30pm – HISTORY/CULTURAL STUDIES: Mass Slavery Apology is hosting “Franklin County’s First Peoples: History, Heritage, and Current Events” at the First Congregational Church in Greenfield. Learn about the first residents of what is now Franklin County – discover their legacy, history, and traditions, and examine why and how this legacy has been ignored and denied through the years. Joe Graveline, who is of Cherokee and Abenaki descent, will speak about the under-representation of the American Indian side of New England history. His organization, the Nolumbeka Project, works to promote an accurate depiction of Native Americans/American Indians in New England before and during European contact and colonization. Older students who are interested in history and cultural studies would benefit from this event. Childcare is available; please call to reserve. 413-625-2951. 43 Silver Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE/DONATIONS WELCOME)

Saturday, April 5, 10:30am – PARENT WORKSHOP: Are you interested in learning the basics of paying for college, and how to best save money, minimize costs, and maximize financial aid? The Jones Library is offering “Paying for College: What Parent Need to Know” as part of their programming for Money Smart Week. Parents and college-bound older teens would benefit from this talk, which outlines the basics of paying for college. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 5, 10:30am-11:30am – ANIMAL STUDIES: Young children can come to the Carnegie Library to learn about bears. There will be no live animals at this program, but kids can learn all about bears through fun hands-on activities. 413-863-3214. 201 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA.

Saturday, April 5, 10:30am-11:30am – STORYWALK: Child Care of the Berkshires is holding a fun kick-off event for their April StoryWalk, Road Builders by B.G. Hennessy. Come to the Haskins Gym for a morning of play, learning, building, hard hat decorating, and more. Participating families will receive a copy of the book and a StoryWalk map. Each page of the book will be displayed in a store window in downtown North Adams until April 25. StoryWalk starts at Man’s World on Marshall Street and goes to Supreme Pizza on Main Street. Please register in advance for the kick-off event. 413-664-4821. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA.

Saturday, April 5, 10:30am-11:30am – ARTS & CRAFTS: Come make fun paper collage eggs at the Ramsdell Library! Take your creation home to use as a decoration. 413-274-3738. 1087 Main Street. Housatonic, MA.

Saturday, April 5, 10:30am-12noon – CULINARY ARTS: Chandler’s Restaurant offers a Kids Cooking class for families to explore the art of cooking, proper use of kitchen tools, and raw ingredients that go into delicious dishes! A brief tour of their professional kitchen follows the class. Great way to introduce children to the world of culinary arts! Space is limited, reservations are required 413-665-1277. 25 Greenfield Road. South Deerfield, MA ($$)

Saturday, April 5, 11am – MUSIC: The Northampton Community Music Center Family Concert Series presents a performance by the NCMC Student Chamber Orchestra and Ukulele Choir at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. This annual concert showcases the talents of a group of young musicians, who will perform pieces by Bach, Handel, and the Beatles. All ages will enjoy this fun concert! 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. >$

Saturday, April 5, 11am-12noon – CHILDREN’S PERFORMANCE: Bowey the Clown, an award-winning family entertainer, will perform at Spectrum Playhouse on April 5. Come see his blend of comedy, magic, balloon art, and ventriloquism – a show that all ages will enjoy! 413-394-5023. 20 Franklin Street. Lee, MA. (SUGGESTED DONATION >$)

Saturday, April 5, 11am-1pm – LUNCH DATE: The Westfield Athenaeum is holding a “Parents’ Time Out” at the library. Bring your child to the library and then enjoy a lunch date with your spouse or a friend. Kids up to 10 years will be entertained at the library songs, stories, crafts, and lunch, while you enjoy a fun lunch of your own. Pre-registration is required. 413-568-7833. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA.

Saturday, April 5, 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, April 5, 1pm-3pm – ORIGAMI: Want to learn how to make origami? Kids 8-12 years old can participate in the Westfield Athenaeum’s “Origami for Beginners” program. Supplies are provided. Please register in advance; space is limited. This event is a fundraiser sponsored by Friends of the Westfield Athenaeum. 413-454-3012. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA. $

Saturday, April 5, 1pm-4pm – ROADSHOW: The Emily Williston Memorial Library is holding their first ever Emily’s Roadshow, where library visitors can bring in books and other items (up to 3) to be appraised. Call or stop by the library to sign up for a ten-minute time slot to learn how much your items are worth! 413-527-1031. 9 Park Street. Easthampton, MA.

Saturday, April 5, 2pm-4pm – ART RECEPTION: Forbes Library will have a reception for Marion Abrams’ exhibit, “100 Ukrainian Style Batik Eggs,” on display at the Hosmer Gallery from April 2-April 29. Come see these beautifully decorated eggs and so some background research to learn about their significance! 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA.

Saturday, April 5, 2pm-4pm – FAMILY MOVIE: The Westfield Athenaeum is screening Frozen (2013; rated PG), the highest-grossing animated film of all time. All ages will enjoy this award-winning movie. 413-568-7833. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA.

Saturday, April 5, 3:30pm-5:30pm – HISTORY/FOOD STUDIES: Ventfort Hall presents a Tea Talk with Michael Lesy and Lisa Stoffer, entitled, “Repast or Dining Out, 1900-1910.” Lesy and Stoffer are co-authors of Repast: Dining Out at the Dawn of the New American Century, 1900-1910, and they will take the audience on a culinary tour of period restaurants and dining, examining how dining has evolved in America. Older students interested in history or food studies would enjoy this talk. Tickets available in advance. 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street. Lenox, MA. $$

Saturday, April 5, 5pm-8pm – FOOD SECURITY: The 3rd Annual Music Fills the Pantry event takes place April 5 at 5pm at Fellowship Hall. Help local food pantries during this evening of stories, songs, jokes, food, and fun. Donations (>$) or non-perishable food items will go to Hilltown Churches Food Pantry in Ashfield and the Good Neighbors Food Pantry in Charlemont. There will also be food available for purchase to benefit the First Congregational Church of Shelburne. This is a great evening out that helps support local food security. Little Mohawk Road. Shelburne, MA.

Saturday, April 5, 6pm – ART RECEPTION: Come see creatively re-imagined weapons at “Steampunk Springfield Armory: Reimagining Our Nation’s Weaponry.” This exhibition brings together the Armory’s collection of military shoulder weapons with the ingenuity of some one today’s best steampunk artists. A public reception for the exhibit will be on April 5 at 6pm. Come see the show and meet the artists behind these amazing steampunk weapons! There will be hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. 413-734-8551. 1 Armory Square. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, April 5, 6pm-8pm – PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: Bread Euphoria‘s “Saturday Night Rise” concert series continues tonight with a performance by Josh and Kim Wachtel, who will present “Radio Free Earth.” They will perform fun, funny, and neo-retro genres. 413-268-7757. 206 Main Street. Haydenville, MA.

Saturday, April 5, 6:30pm – MOVIE: Families are invited to the Shutesbury Town Hall for a screening of Saving Mr. Banks (2013; rated PG-13). Appropriate for older students and adults. Baked goods, popcorn, and soft drinks will be available for purchase, for the benefit of the Friends of the M.N. Spear Memorial Library. 413-259-1213. 1 Cooleyville Road. Shutesbury, MA. >$

Saturday, April 5, 7pm – FOLKLORE/STORYTELLING: The Pioneer Valley Folklore Society’s Song and Story Swap is tonight! The Swap is centered on a theme, then everyone introduces themselves and shares a song or story relating to the theme (it’s also okay to just listen!). After this warm-up round, the performer – this month it is Bob Reiser – plays a 30-minute set, which is followed by another song and story share. The Song and Story Swap is a great opportunity for intergenerational fun and a way to meet new people. During the performance, a hat will be passed around for donations. Takes place at the Nacul Center. Repeats the first Saturday of each month. 413-687-5002. 592 Main Street. Amherst, MA. FREE/SUGGESTED DONATION

Saturday, April 5, 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.

Saturday, April 5, 7pm-10pm – DANCE: Come to Montague Common Hall for a square dance! Learn about and try out this traditional dance, which was first documented in 17th-century England, but has evolved throughout time in different regional areas, such as New England. This is a fun opportunity to learn square dancing with community members of all ages. 34 Main Street. Montague, MA.

Saturday, April 5, DUSK-11pm – ASTRONOMY: Discover the night sky at Notchview with members of Arunah Hill Natural Science Center and the Trustees of Reservations. Gaze through telescopes to search for galaxies, stars, planets, meteors, and more. Older students will enjoy this opportunity to learn about astronomy from some local experts and explore the night sky themselves. Please pre-register. 413-532-1631 x10. Route 9. Windsor, MA.

Saturday, April 5, 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. $

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Sunday, April 6th, 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, April 6, 9am – 5K RUN/WALK: Support Berkshire South Regional Community Center’s Teen Outreach Nutrition Exercise (TONE) program and other youth fitness programs at their Center’s 2nd Annual 5K Run/Walk and Breakfast. Come run or walk to support these great programs, and then enjoy breakfast (10am)! Starts and ends at Housatonic Housy Dome. Please pre-register. 413-528-2810. 1064 Main Street. Housatonic, MA. $$$

Sunday, April 6, 9am-12noon – EASTER: Join the Children’s Museum at Holyoke for Breakfast with the Easter Bunny. Enjoy a continental breakfast with family and the Easter Bunny, goodie bags, fun arts and crafts, a raffle, and all day admission to the Museum. Pre-registration is recommended. 413-536-5437. 444 Dwight Street. Holyoke, MA. $

Sunday, April 6, 11am & 12noon – ART HISTORY: The George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum is offering a docent-led “mini-tour” with museum educators, titled “Festival of Flowers.” They will discuss the floral interpretations in the Museum’s pieces. Free with museum admission. 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. $$

Sunday, April 6, 12noon-4:30pm – DRAWING: April 6 is Drawing Day at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art! Come together will people of all ages and enjoy a day full of family-friendly projects designed to celebrate drawing and help kids be creative. Free with museum admission. 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. $

Sunday, April 6, 1pm-2pm – EASTER: Children ages 10 and under can participate in Southwick’s Easter Egg Hunt in Prifti Park. There will be other Easter festivities for all ages to enjoy. Southwick, MA.

Sunday, April 6, 1:30pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Learn about the role of horses on a 19th-century family farm with Blue Star Equiculture at Keep Homestead Museum. The Museum will also be open from 1pm-3:30pm to see the Keep Family’s artifacts from over the years. Kids and adults will enjoy discovering what life was like on a New England homestead in the 19th Century. 413-267-4137. 35 Ely Road. Monson, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, April 6, 1:30pm-3:30pm – ARTS & CRAFTS: Come to the Erving Public Library to make May Baskets! These baskets are a May Day tradition that all ages will enjoy making. Materials provided. 413-423-3348. 17 Moore Street. Erving, MA.

Sunday, April 6, 2pm – 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. $

Sunday, April 6, 2pm-4pm – BOOKS/CULINARY ARTS: The Forbes Library’s Edible Book event takes place April 6 at the Florence Civic Center. Come taste edible books inspired by real ones at this fun, creativity-centered event. All the books are 100% edible and there are many submissions, so all ages can enjoy seeing the delicious favorite books! 413-584-7482. 90 Park Street. Florence, MA. >$

Sunday, April 6, 3pm – 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.

Sunday, April 6, 6:30pm-8pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Dr. Jonathan Schwab (pediatrician) and Sharon Saline, Psy.D (clinical psychologist) will present a workshop for parents, “Parenting Preschoolers with Confidence and Consistency,” at Northampton Area Pediatrics. Please RSVP. 413-584-8700. 193 Locust Street. Northampton, MA.

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Monday, April 7th, 2014

Monday, April 7, 10am – PUPPETRY: Join the Athol Public Library for a performance by Caravan Puppets! They will perform “Foody Tales,” a puppet show all about food and nutrition. Kids will enjoy this fun and educational show. 978-249-9515. 568 Main Street. Athol, MA.

Monday, April 7, 4:15pm – THEATER: Amherst Leisure Service Community Theater and Missoula Children’s Theatre are holding auditions for Robinson Crusoe on April 7 in the Amherst Middle School cafeteria. Two professional actors and directors will cast and stage this full-scale musical production in just one week! Auditions are open to students in grades K-12, and the final performances take place April 12 at 1:30pm and 4pm. This is a great opportunity for kids to be a part of professional musical production. Call for more information. 413-461-6722. 170 Chestnut Street. Amherst, MA. >$

Monday, April 7, 6pm – SCIENCE: The UMass Organismic and Evolutionary Biology Department presents OEB Science Cafes at Esselon Cafe each month. This month’s talk is by Dr. Patty Brennan, who will present, “Oddball Science – Why Do We Study Weird Things?” Learn about the psychology behind why people choose to study certain things. Science Cafes are oriented towards adults without a science background, but are interesting to those with science backgrounds as well! Older students interested in science would enjoy the Science Cafes. 99 Russell Street. Hadley, MA.

Monday, April 7, 6pm-7pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Barbara Blumenthal presents, “Made in the Happy Valley – A Free Academy of the Book Arts” at the Wistariahurst Museum. This illustrated lecture will showcase three men – Arno Werner, Harold McGrath, and Leonard Baskin, who trained and inspired many local artists in printmaking, bookbinding, papermaking, and more. Blumenthal will discuss the history, participants, and current state of the Valley’s book arts community. 413-322-5660. 238 Cabot Street. Holyoke, MA. $

Monday, April 7, 6:30pm – MUSIC: Enjoy a performance by cellist Gideon Freudmann at S. White Dickinson Memorial Library. Freudmann plays folk, blues, and jazz music and is a talented musician as well as a composer. Older students with audience skills and an interest in music will enjoy this performance. 413-665-2170. 202 Chestnut Plain Road. Whately, MA.

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

  • 9am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Amherst Family Center has drop-in playgroups Monday-Friday, 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 8th, 2014

Tuesday, April 8, 8:30am-3:30pm – PARENT WORKSHOP/CONFERENCE: Community Resources for People With Autism is holding their 24th Annual Conference at the Log Cabin in Holyoke on April 8. Dr. Robert Naseef will present “Autism and the Family,” a talk about what it is like being the father of a child with autism, and how autism impacts families. Dena Gassner will also speak about the “Myths of Autism.” Gassner is known for her honest portrayal of her own life as a parent and person on the autism spectrum. This conference is open to educators, professionals, and families, and is the largest autism conference. 413-529-2428. 500 Easthampton Road. Holyoke, MA. $$$+

Tuesday, April 8, 9:30am-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: Celebrate Week of the Young Child with a special gym time for kids ages 0-5. This event takes place at the New Hingham Elementary gymnasium. Please sign-in at front office. Call for more information. 413-296-0182. 30 Smith Road. Chesterfield, MA.

Tuesday, April 8, 5pm – CHEMISTRY: Discover the amazing world of chemistry at the Emily Williston Memorial Library‘s Chemistry Adventure Day! Mt. Holyoke College student representatives will lead this program, which includes fun experiments. Adults must accompany children to this event. Sign up in advance. 413-529-1605. 9 Park Street. Easthampton, MA.

Tuesday, April 8, 7pm – MUSIC/CULTURAL STUDIES: The Five College West African Drum Ensembles will perform a concert at Mt. Holyoke McCulloch Auditorium. The Ensembles will perform music from southern Ghana, Togo, and Benin, and will be accompanied by African dancer Nani Agbeli. The whole family can come to this exciting concert and learn about music and dance in West Africa. 413-538-2306. Lower Lake Road. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, April 8, 7pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Learn how to get out of or prevent debt at the Jones Library‘s workshop, “Budgeting: Paying Down Debt,” as part of their programming for Money Smart Week. Adults who are interested in learning how to budget and pay down debt will benefit from this workshop. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

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

  • 9am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Amherst Family Center has drop-in playgroups Monday-Friday, 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 9th, 2014

Wednesday, April 9, 10am – FAMILY CONCERT: The South Hadley Family Center presents a free concert to celebrate Week of the Young Child. Miss Leticia will perform her high-energy, multilingual music and movement that young kids of all ages will enjoy. Takes place at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church. 30 Main Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, April 9, 10am-12noon – HIKING: Join Berkshire Natural Resources Council for an easy-moderate hike at Bob’s Way. Explore this beautiful 260-acre preserve and see a beaver swamp. This intermediate hike would best for older students with some hiking experience. 413-499-0596. Route 23. Monterey, MA.

Wednesday, April 9, 5:30pm-6:30pm – LITERACY: Encourage literacy and a love of books in your young children (ages 2-5) with Child Care of the Berkshires‘ Raising a Reader Program. Borrow bags of books for ten weeks, read them, then return them so another family can enjoy them. There will be free family fun gatherings that introduce you to special ways to share reading with your family. Dinner, activities, and transportation included. Program also meets May 7 and June 18. Takes place at Cheshire Elementary School Cafeteria. Call to join the program. 413-664-4821 x16. Cheshire, MA.

Wednesday, April 9, 6pm-7pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Baystate Children’s Hospital presents a workshop for parents, “The Pediatrician Is In: Updates in ADHD,” with Dr. Patrick Brown, in the Children’s Specialty Center. Brown will discuss the latest information about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, including how behavior, temperament, and context are interpreted in the developing child, as well as treatment options. Childcare is available. Registration required. 1-800-377-4325. 50 Wason Avenue. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, April 9, 6pm-8pm – ARTS & CRAFTS/SWIM: Families are invited to “Pizza and Play” at the Greenfield YMCA! There will be free pizza (6:30pm-7pm), a family swim (7pm-7:45pm), and fun activities in the Game Room (6pm-8pm). Melinda from Inflorescence Microfarm will be at the YMCA to help kids get creative by building their own fairy houses, elf houses, or Hobbit holes! This a fun family activity and gives kids a chance to be creative and practice building. For YMCA members only. 413-773-3646 x432. 451 Main Street. Greenfield, MA.

Wednesday, April 9, 8pm – CULINARY ARTS: Food experimentalist Dave Arnold will present “Science and Technology in the Kitchen” at Williams College in the Bronfman Science Center Auditorium on April 9 at 8pm. Arnold’s presentation focuses on the multidisciplinary aspects of food studies – its scientific, technological, and cultural implications. Older students with an interest in food studies, culinary arts, science, or technology would benefit from this presentation. 413-597-4277. 18 Hoxsey Street. Williamstown, 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-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Amherst Family Center has drop-in playgroups Monday-Friday, 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 10th, 2014

Thursday, April 10, 10am-10:45am – ARTS & CRAFTS: Kids ages 1-3 are invited to have some “Ooey Gooey Fun” at Berkshire South Regional Community Center. Come use fingerpaints, collage, play dough, and more to create a “mess-terpiece” to take home. Please sign up in advance. 413-528-2810. 15 Crissey Road. Great Barrington, MA. >$

Thursday, April 10, 10:30am – STORYTIME: As part of Money Smart Week, the Jones Library is holding a special story hour focused on money and saving. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, April 10, 12:15pm – TECHNOLOGY: This week’s Museums a la Carte lecture at the Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts is, “Futurescape Springfield,” with Gretchen Gano and Krista Harper. Futurescape City Tours are interactive community engagement projects that allow participants to explore how new technologies can impact their cities. Springfield is one of six cities taking part in the project, and participants can see how new technologies like nanotechnology could change transportation, buildings, food, energy use, and city life as a whole. Older students interested in technology would enjoy this presentation. 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. >$

Thursday, April 10, 3:45pm-5pm – COMIC BOOKS: The Jones Library is holding an Afterschool Comic Book Club for kids in grades 3-5 (age 8+). Read Lunch Lady and the Video Game Villain by Jarrett Krosoczka and then come discuss it with your peers. Registration is required. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA.

Thursday, April 10, 4pm-8pm – BOOK SALE: The Westfield Athenaeum’s annual Book Sale takes place April 10-April 12. Come browse used books of varying prices and discover some great new reads! Donations accepted April 7 and April 9 from 9am-8pm. 413-568-7833. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA.

Thursday, April 10, 4:30pm – SCIENCE: Kids in grade 4-6 are welcome to attend the Monson Free Library’s “Fizz Boom Splat Science Club.” This week, kids will be dissecting cow eyeballs – not for the squeamish! Please pre-register. 413-267-3866. 2 High Street. Monson, MA.

Thursday, April 10, 7pm – VERNAL POOLS: Vernal pools are temporary pools of water that provide habitat for unique plants and animals. In New England, these include fairy shrimp, wood frogs, and spotted salamanders. Learn about these fascinating ephemeral bodies of water at the Meekins Library’s vernal pool workshop, led by staff from the Hilltown Land Trust and the Trustees of Reservations. This workshop would be best for students interested in nature, plants, and animals. Part two of this program is a Vernal Pool Exploration on April 12. 413-268-7472. 2 Williams Street. Williamsburg, MA.

Thursday, April 10, 7pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: The Center School presents a talk by Lori Duron, author of Raising My Rainbow: Adventures in Raising a Fabulous, Gender Creative Son, at Smith College’s Seelye Hall. The talk is titled, “Parenting, Teaching, and Promoting Advocacy for Transgender Children,” and Duron will speak about her parenting experiences and life with a gender-variant child. This talk is free and open to the public, but space is limited, so please call to reserve your spot. 413-773-1700. Smith College. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, April 10, 7pm – HIKING: Appalachian Trail thru hiker Andy Myers will be at the Worthington Library to tell about his journey on the Trail and how he prepared for it. He will also share photos and videos from his trek. Older students who are interested in hiking will enjoy this talk. 413-238-5565. 1 Huntington Road. Worthington, MA.

Thursday, April 10, 7pm-9pm – MUSIC/CULTURAL STUDIES: The Jones Library presents, “North Indian Classical Music: The Sitar,” with Mike Jarjoura. Jarjoura will demonstrate the sitar and introduce you to “raga,” an Indian musical genre. This event would be interesting to older students who like music or who would like to learn more about India’s music and culture. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, April 10, 7:30pm – THEATER: Enjoy a performance of Fiddler on the Roof at Westfield State University’s Dever Stage. The performance features 60 students as cast, orchestra, and crew, and a set built by students at Westfield Vocational Technical High School. 413-572-8323. Western Avenue. Westfield, 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 playgroups Monday-Friday, 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 11th, 2014

On Friday, April 11th from 4-7pm: ACT OF KINDNESS: Flowers for Friends: A Free Family Friday Night Event at The Art Garden with Hilltown Families. Sign up to bring your kids and come join your neighbors in a free community art event, painting terracotta flower pots to plant with pansies and then pass along to those in your community. With the idea of spreading kindness and beauty, families are encouraged to pass their posies along to an elder in their neighborhood, or their librarian, classroom teacher, receptionist at the hospital or animal shelter, or other community space of their choice. Space is limited. Pre-registration is kindly requested. Shelburne Falls, MA (FREE)

Friday, April 11, 9am-5pm – BOOK SALE: The Westfield Athenaeum’s annual Book Sale takes place April 10-April 12. Come browse used books of varying prices and discover some great new reads! Donations accepted April 7 and April 9 from 9am-8pm. 413-568-7833. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA.

Friday, April 11, 10am – MUSIC/CULTURAL STUDIES: The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center presents a performance by the Martha Redbone Roots Project. Redbone is known for her blend of Native American elements with soul and funk, as well as Appalachian folk and Piedmont blues. She will perform and lead a discussion on her Native American, African American, and Appalachian roots. This event is for school-aged youth and is a great opportunity to see a talented musician play live, and a chance to have a meaningful discussion about cultural identity. Tickets are available in advance. 413-528-0100. 14 Castle Street. Great Barrington, MA. $

Friday, April 11, 4pm-8pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES/ARTS & CRAFTS: Tonight is Free Second Friday at the Smith College Museum of Art! Stop by for hands-on art-making and an informal guided gallery presentation. A great way to help kids experience a local museum! 413-585-2760. Elm Street & Bedford Terrace. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Friday, April 11, 7pm – PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: Support Friends of Children at their largest fundraiser yet, the Red Shoe Ball! This event celebrates the organization’s 25 years of helping abused, neglected, and at-risk children in Western Massachusetts. The fun-filled evening includes entertainment, dancing, silent auctions, great food, cocktails, and more. Come have fun while supporting an amazing local resource at the Red Shoe Ball! Takes place at Look Park’s Garden House. Please purchase tickets in advance. 413-586-0011. 300 North Main Street. Florence, MA. $$$+

Friday, April 11, 7pm – MUSIC: The Mt. Holyoke Flute Choir will perform a concert at Mt. Holyoke McCulloch Auditorium. Come listen to these talented flutists perform a variety of pieces. 413-538-2306. Lower Lake Road. South Hadley, MA.

Friday, April 11, 7pm – IMPROV: Northampton High School improv troupes Funktionlust and the Unusuals present An Improv Alliance Show with troupes from South Hadley High School and Hampshire Regional High School. All ages will enjoy this fun family-friendly show! 413-584-5562. 380 Elm Street. Northampton, MA. >$

Friday, April 11, 7:30pm – THEATER: Enjoy a performance of Fiddler on the Roof at Westfield State University’s Dever Stage. The performance features 60 students as cast, orchestra, and crew, and a set built by students at Westfield Vocational Technical High School. 413-572-8323. Western Avenue. Westfield, MA. $

Friday, April 11, 7:30pm – THEATER: New Renaissance Players present a production of WOLF! Trial of the Big Bad Wolf at the Shea Theater. This unscripted show places the audience in the middle of the Big Bad Wolf’s trial – he has been charged with destroying the homes of the two little pigs, stealing Little Red Riding Hood’s picnic basket, and terrorizing her grandmother. The audience will act as the jury, who must decide the fate of the Big Bad Wolf. All ages will enjoy this entertaining and interactive show centered around a classic children’s fairy tale. Tickets available in advance. 413-863-2281. 71 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. $

Friday, April 11, 8pm – ART/MUSIC: Mt. Greylock Regional High School is hosting “Arts Invasion” with honeyhoney and the Mt. Greylock High School Band. The two groups will perform together in the auditorium to raise money for the school’s arts program. Come hear some great live music and support the local schools. Tickets available in advance. 413-458-9582. 1781 Cold Spring Road. Williamstown, MA. $-$$$

Friday, April 11, 8pm – THEATER: Come see a steampunk-inspired production of The Fantasticks at Springfield’s CityStage! The Fantasticks is the world’s longest-running production of any kind – it tells a timeless love story, complete with poetry, sophistication, and catchy songs. Come enjoy this classic musical with an interesting steampunk twist, and then check out the Springfield Museums’ exhibit, “Steampunk Springfield: Reinventing an Industrial City!” Tickets available in advance. 413-788-7033. 1 Columbus Center. Springfield, MA. $$$

Friday, April 11, 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-12oon – PLAYGROUP: The Amherst Family Center has drop-in playgroups Monday-Friday, 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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