Suggested Events for May 3rd-9th, 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 especially love the summer camp information all in one place! It’s good to know about parent/child craft classes too… Thanks for all you do!” – Martha L. (Sunderland, 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!”

Over 50 Summer Camps to choose from! Now is the time to start signing up for summer camp! Check out our featured post, 2014 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a comprehensive list of over 50 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

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.

May 3

Come to Local ARTery: Demonstration Day May 3rd, 2014, from 10 to 5 at the Healthworks Building next to Yankee Candle Village, 25 Greenfield Road, South Deerfield. This event will feature over 30 local artisans who will be demonstrating the techniques and skills of creating of handmade art and craft. Exciting demonstrations include loom weaving, pottery, shoemaking, woodworking, landscape quilting, metal clay jewelry, watercolor technique, and glasswork. Get up close and personal with artisans to see how different types of art and craft are produced. The artisans will also be offering finished work for sale. Also, join one of the many available “make and take” stations throughout the event and create your own project! The day promises to be a creatively fun, hands-on, and educational experience for all ages. For a list of participating artisans visit: www.localartery.com.

May 15

Cooley Dickinson/Massachusetts General Hospital Lecture Series. Concussions in Sports: Help for Parents. As media attention on concussions in sports rises, parents are in need of common sense, research- supported information. This presentation is designed to help parents understand what they need to know about concussions and how to best support and protect their child athletes as they participate in sports. Speakers include, Richard Ginsburg, PhD, Clinical Psychologist, Massachusetts General Hospital and Jonathan Schwab, MD, Pediatrician, Northampton, Family Practice. Thursday, May 15th 6-7pm at the Hadley Farms Meeting House, 41 Russell St., Hadley, MA. Registration is required, www.cooley-dickinson.org/classes or by calling 888-554-4234.

Journey Camp returns to Cummington for Hilltown families this summer. The supportive staff makes it easy to find new friends while exploring nature, theater, games, music. Inclusiveness and peace building are hallmarks of Journey Camp. Founder and Director, Sarah Pirtle, has numerous awards for her books and music for children. Session One, boys & girls ages 7-13,June 30-July 4, 8:45-4, Woolman Hill, Deerfield. Hilltown Journey Camp, boys & girls, 7-13, July 14-18, 8:45-4, Taproot Common Farm, Cummington. Moonseed Teen Leadership for Girls, 11-18, July 28-July 31, two overnights & campfires, Woolman Hill. Girls Week, 7-13, Aug. 4-8 & Aug. 11-15, 8:45-4, Woolman Hill. www.sarahpirtle.com Contact: 413-588-6399, marsha.journey@gmail.com.

The Bement School offers summer programs for children from 4 to 15 years old. Children have the opportunity to enjoy the fun of a traditional day camp and help create their own schedule by choosing from our wide range of unique activities. The Junior Camp provides a safe, nurturing camp experience for our youngest campers. The Adventure Day Camp offers activity choices that include Chinese, cooking, rocketry, sports, nature, arts and crafts, and swimming. The Counselor-in-Training program gives young teenagers experience working with children and developing valuable job skills while still enjoying the fun of summer camp. Summer programs run from June 23 to August 15. Visit their website or email summer@bement.org for more information!

Early education & child care openings for children 15 months to 5 years. Apply now at www.nonotuck.org or 413-586-5996 or info@nonotuck.org. Nonotuck Community School curriculum is play-based & inspired by progressive early childhood education theory. They emphasize community, emotional intelligence & resilience, and provide ample opportunities for cognitive, artistic, social, emotional, and physical development. In addition to large, sunny, well-appointed classrooms, and indoor & outdoor play spaces, children have access to an art studio, yoga instruction, gardening, music, and more. They are a licensed parent co-op; family involvement is at the heart of their school community. Open 7:30-5:30 with 3-5 day schedules year-round. Florence, MA

Researchers at UMass-Amherst seek volunteers to participate in a language study. They are looking for English-speaking children ages 9-12 who have a diagnosis of high-functioning autism or Asperger’s syndrome, or who are typically developing. Parental consent will be obtained and the single-session study should take about 90 minutes. You will be compensated $50 for your time. They have openings after school, on weekends, and during holidays. Please call Kristina Curro at 413-695-8429 or email her at kcurro@comdis.umass.edu for more information.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See afterschool class, community event, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business or non-profit 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
May 3rd-9th, 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, May 3rd, 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 we will be rebroadcasting out Cinco de Mayo Episode with Guest DJ, Sandra from Moona Luna. 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 7 years of archived show.

Saturday, May 3, 8am – COMMUNITY SERVICE: Spend time with community members cleaning up Easthampton at the city’s Community Clean Up Day. Meet at the Chamber of Commerce office and bring gloves, rakes, shovels, and brush cutters, if possible. This is a great chance for older students to gain valuable community service experience by making a visible difference in their community. 413-527-9414. 33 Union Street. Easthampton, MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Saturday, May 3, 8am-11am – COMMUNITY SERVICE: West Springfield’s Friends of Park and Recreation are holding a cleanup day for Regan Park. Come do some Spring cleaning and bring tools if you can. Community clean ups are a good way for students to discover the importance of community service and gain hands-on experience helping their communities. 413-736-3878. Overlook Drive. West Springfield, MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Saturday, May 3, 8am-11am – COMMUNITY SERVICE: You can help out at the Meals on Wheels Walkathon, which takes place May 3 at Franklin County Technical School! Support the efforts of Meals on Wheels by participating in the Walkathon, supporting a team or individual, or volunteering at the event. More information can be found on the Walkathon website. 413-773-5555 x2225. 82 Industrial Boulevard. Montague, MA. (FUNDRAISER)

Saturday, May 3, 8am-12noon – COMMUNITY SERVICE: Help out the City of Springfield at an Earth Day Clean-Up event at Duggan Middle School, coordinated by the Springfield Science Museum and Keep Springfield Beautiful. Join the group and get hands-on experience making a difference in your community. Call to register. 413-263-6800 x404. 1015 Wilbraham Road. Springfield, MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Saturday, May 3, 9am-12noon – FISHING: Come to the Chesterfield Four Seasons Club‘s annual Fishing Derby at Bisbee Pond for kids ages 14 and under! There will be fishing, prizes, and refreshments. This is a fun way to get outdoors and spend time with community members. Chesterfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 3, 9am-12noon – COMMUNITY SERVICE: Do some Spring cleaning for your community at the Downtown Springfield CleanUp on May 3 at Court Square! All ages can help sweep away signs of Winter and get the city ready for Spring at this event. Clean up days get kids engaged in community service and give them hands-on experience making a difference in their city! Court Street. Springfield, MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Saturday, May 3, 9am-1pm – COMMUNITY SERVICE: Older students and adults can help prepare Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary for summer at Cleanup Day on May 3. There will be a variety of projects for volunteers to help out with. Call for more information. Registration is required. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road. Lenox, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 3, 9am-7pm – BOOK SALE: The Amherst League of Women Voters is holding their 66th Annual Book Sale on the Amherst Common. Come by to find great books for all ages! Downtown. Amherst, MA. (FUNDRAISER)

Saturday, May 3, 10am-12noon – LOCAL HISTORY: The Pioneer Valley Institute and the Deerfield River Watershed Association present an historical visit to the Conway Station, which was the junction of the Conway Street Railway that served the industries of Conway by trolley to the New Haven, Boston, and Maine Railroads. Older students interested in local history, industry, and transportation will enjoy learning about this historic railway and the bridges built for it over the Deerfield and South Rivers. Meet at Greenfield Big Y. 413-624-3311. 237 Mohawk Trail. Greenfield, MA.

Saturday, May 3, 10am-2pm – FISHING: Kids 14 and under can enjoy a day of fun, fishing, and learning with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at their Regional Office in Hadley. There will be free fishing (rods available), a live bird demonstration, and the Wildlife on Wheels trailer. Families will enjoy this fun event, which can introduce kids to fishing. 413-253-8516. 300 Westgate Center Drive. Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 3, 10am-4pm – HISTORY/CULINARY ARTS: Experience life in an early New England kitchen at Historic Deerfield‘s Open Hearth Cooking demonstrations! Learn about preserved foods and the meaning of the term “bottom of the barrel.” These cooking demonstrations allow visitors of all ages to see what life was like in the past and the types of chores and activities they would do had they lived several hundred years ago! Free with admission. 413-774-5581. 84B Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA. $

Saturday, May 3, 10am-5pm – ARTISAN SKILLS: Local ARTery: Demonstration Day is today! Featuring over 30 local artisans who will be demonstrating the techniques and skills of creating of handmade art and craft. Exciting demonstrations include loom weaving, pottery, shoemaking, woodworking, landscape quilting, metal clay jewelry, watercolor technique, and glasswork. Get up close and personal with artisans to see how different types of art and craft are produced. Healthworks Building next to Yankee Candle Village, 25 Greenfield Road, South Deerfield, MA

Saturday, May 3, 10am-5pm – HISTORY: The Mount’s 2014 Opening Day is May 3! Come enjoy all The Mount has to offer, including building tours, beautiful historic gardens, exhibits, and more. There is something for all ages at The Mount! 413-551-5100. 2 Plunkett Street. Lenox, MA. $

Saturday, May 3, 11am – BOOKS: Teens and tweens in grades 6-12 can come to the Westfield Athenaeum for a Teen Book Swap! This is a great way to discover new books and share ones you’ve already read with others. Please bring books that you don’t mind parting with to swap. 413-568-7833. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 3, 11am – HISTORY: Explore Holyoke’s historic mansions and the Farfield Avenue Historic District on a bicycle tour with the Wistariahurst Museum and Craig Della Penna. Teens and adults can explore their city and discover its history in an exciting way on this tour. Participants should bring their bikes, helmets, enthusiasm, and sense of adventure to this unique event. This is a great way for older students and their parents to spend quality time together while learning local history and developing a greater sense of place. Registration is required. 413-322-5660. Holyoke, MA. $$

Saturday, May 3, 11am – FAMILY CONCERT: Shiprock and Anchordog will perform a musical adventure about two dogs who are best friends on a magical journey, based on a story by Evan Curran, at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. Kids will love this fun performance. Tickets go on sale 30 minutes before concert. 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. ($)

Saturday, May 3, 12noon-5pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION/LGBT: Northampton’s 33rd Annual LGBT Parade and Pride Event takes place May 3 downtown and at the Three County Fairgrounds. See the Parade march down Main Street and follow behind to the Fairgrounds, where the Pride event takes place. The Pride event features live music, drag performances, speakers, vendors, and more. Celebrate Northampton’s diverse LGBT community at this fun event! 413-455-9151. Northampton, MA.

Saturday, May 3, 12:30pm-1:30pm & 2pm-3pm – BIRD STUDIES: All ages can learn about the fascinating world of birds of prey at a special Wingmasters event at the Great Falls Discovery Center. Julie Anne Collier of Wingmasters will present a live raptor program featuring five live birds like hawks, falcons, owls, and eagles. She will discuss the lives, habitats, adaptations, diets, and behaviors of these birds. Kids and adults of all ages will love learning all about these amazing creatures. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 3, 1pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Tour the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art‘s special exhibition, Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile and Friends: The Art of Bernard Waber, with Chief Curator Nick Clark. See the art up close and learn about how the exhibition was put together on this tour. Free with museum admission. 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. $

Saturday, May 3, 1pm – HISTORY: Learn about the Springfield Armory‘s historic weapons at a Blank Firing Demonstration. Visitors can see the weapons, hear the rifles blasting, and smell the burning gunpowder at this demonstration. Seeing the firing demonstration can teach students of all ages about historic weapons and what the Springfield Armory was used for in the past. 413-734-8551. 1 Armory Square. Springfield, MA.

Saturday, May 3, 1pm-3pm – CULINARY ARTS/LITERACY: Celebrate reading and food at the Pelham Library‘s first-ever Edible Book Contest! Turn your favorite book into food by recreating the cover on a cake, making a food based on a book pun, or whatever you like! This is a great chance for families to be creative and work together on a creative projects. Call to enter the contest. 413-253-0657. 2 South Valley Road. Pelham, MA.

Saturday, May 3, 1:30pm-2:30pm – OCCUPATION/ANIMAL STUDIES: Meet Jori, the Great Barrington police dog, and his officer, Tim Ullrich, at the Mason Library! Jori will demonstrate sniffing and show his knowledge of signals and commands. Anyone interested in dogs and how they can help people and communities will love seeing Jori share his knowledge and skills. 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street. Great Barrington, MA.

Saturday, May 3, 2pm – FAMILY MOVIE: Join the The Westfield Athenaeum for popcorn and a family movie. 413-562-6158 x5. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 3, 4pm – PERFORMANCE: Kids and adults of all ages can come to the Mullins Center for a SuperDogs performance! “Wild Wild Woof” is a country-themed performance by the Olate Dogs (America’s Got Talent 2012 winners), who will dance, jump, and more, all to the tune of country hits. 413-545-3373. 200 Commonwealth Avenue. Amherst, MA. $$

Saturday, May 3, 4pm-5pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Discover some fascinating Stockbridge residents of the past at the Stockbridge Library’s first Cemetery Tour of the season – “Talented People You’ve Never Heard Of.” Come to Stockbridge Cemetery to “meet” and learn about some of these artists, musicians, inventors, and athletes who almost became famous. These cemetery tours are a fun way to learn about the history of Stockbridge and some of the town’s more prominent residents of the past. 413-298-5501. Main Street. Stockbridge, MA. >$

Saturday, May 3, 5pm-7pm – FILM/ART: Come to the Norman Rockwell Museum to enjoy a screening of a classic monster movie and see the art of Murray Tinkelman, who illustrated monster movie stars like Frankenstein, Dracula, King Kong, and Godzilla. This is a fun chance to see interesting art up close and enjoy a related film. Free with museum admission. 413-298-4100. 9 Route 183. Stockbridge, MA. $

Saturday, May 3, 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 the Irthlingz Acoustic Duo (Sharon Abreu and Michael Hurwicz) – 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, May 3, 7pm – CONCERT: Trio Candela, Tamarack Hollow Nature and Cultural Center, and the Lee Cultural Council present a Spicy Cinco de Mayo Latin Concert with Trio Candela and guests at the Spectrum Playhouse. Come hear rhythmic, folkloric Latin music from Cuba, the Caribbean, Mexico, and South and Central America, as well as original songs. This concert is fun for all ages. Lee residents get in free. 413-394-5023. 20 Franklin Street. Lee, MA. (SUGGESTED DONATION >$)

Saturday, May 3, 7pm – THEATER: All ages can come to a performance of Robin Hood in the Gateway Performing Arts Center. This two-act musical features students from Gateway Regional Junior High School and Gateway Regional Middle School and tells the classic tale of Robin Hood, who robs the rich to help the poor. 413-685-1003. 12 Littleville Road. Huntington, MA. >$

Saturday, May 3, 7:30pm – PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: Enjoy a concert by David Berkeley and Matthew Larsen and the Documents at the Wistariahurst Museum as part of their Dark Dining Room House Concert Series. This performance features Americana music and piano pop and is a fun way to spend date night. Tickets available in advance. 413-322-5660. 238 Cabot Street. Holyoke, MA. $$

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Sunday, May 4th, 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 7 years of archived shows.

Sunday, May 4, 8am-9:30am – BIRD STUDIES: Discover local birds on a bird walk with Forbes Library. The walk will take you through the Smith College campus and up to Paradise Pond in search of birds. This walk is great for beginner birders who want to learn more about bird identification, bird calls, and what some good birding spots in the area are. Free and open to the public. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, May 4, 9am-4pm – CRAFT FAIR: North Star’s 3rd Annual Spring Craft and Vendor Fair takes place May 4. Come to the Craft Fair to search for locally-made Mother’s Day gifts and other things like jewelry, crocheted items, baskets, wooden and pottery bowls, herbal essences, and more. There will also be chair massage, live music, a bake sale, and a raffle. 135 Russell Street. Hadley, MA.

Sunday, May 4, 10am-2pm – HIKING/NATURE STUDIES: Join The Trustees of Reservations and naturalist Nancy Goodman for a hike in Bear Swamp. Learn about this unique swamp and the plants and animals that live there, including some interesting spring ephemerals. This hike is moderate with some strenuous spots and would be best for teens and adults. Email wildeyes@rcn.com for more information or to register. Space is limited. 413-532-1631 x19. Hawley Road. Ashfield, MA. >$

Sunday, May 4, 10am-4pm – BOOK SALE: The Amherst League of Women Voters is holding their 66th Annual Book Sale on the Amherst Common. Come by to find great books for all ages! Downtown. Amherst, MA.

Sunday, May 4, 10:30am-1pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: All ages are invited to parade from Montague Center post office to the Town Common for a May Celebration! Come sing May songs, carry the maypole, participate in maypole dancing, and see Morris dancing from several different troupes. Bring a blanket and picnic lunch to this fun community celebration. 413-367-9923. Montague, MA.

Sunday, May 4, 11am – HISTORY: Explore Holyoke’s historic mills and waterways on a bicycle tour with the Wistariahurst Museum and Craig Della Penna. Teens and adults can explore their city and discover its history in an exciting way on this tour. Participants should bring their bikes, helmets, enthusiasm, and sense of adventure to this unique event. This is a great way for older students and their parents to spend quality time together while learning local history and developing a greater sense of place. Registration is required. 413-322-5660. Holyoke, MA. $$

Sunday, May 4, 11am-4pm – RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL: The Massachusetts Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies is holding their 12th Annual Community Renaissance Festival on May 4. The Festival features live music, falconry, a theater performance, Renaissance board games, weaving demonstrations, leatherworking, blacksmithing, dancing, and more. All ages will enjoy this Festival, which gives you an idea of what life was like in Renaissance times! 650 East Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, May 4, 11:15am – HIKING/LOCAL HISTORY: Join the Swift River Valley Historical Society for a hike at the Quabbin Reservoir with Marty Howe. Learn about the Quabbin and the history of the area, including the four towns that were flooded to form the Reservoir. Older students interested in local history will enjoy this hike. Meet at New Salem Common. 978-544-6882. New Salem, MA.

Sunday, May 4, 1:30pm – PLANT STUDIES: Learn about gardening with Master Gardener George Kingston at the Keep Homestead Museum on May 4. Kingston presents, “Gardening for the Birds, Butterflies, and Other Good Bugs,” a talk on how to plan and plant gardens that attract birds, butterflies, and native insects using native plants and catering to their needs. Older students interested in gardening will enjoy this educational presentation, which is free and open to the public. 413-267-4137. 35 Ely Road. Monson, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, May 4, 2pm – CONCERT: “Music on Main: Concerts at First Church Amherst” presents the South Hadley Children’s Chorus in a program titled, “Sing For Joy.” The Chorus features 30 singers ages 7-13 from all over the Pioneer Valley. The group will perform music from different cultures, accompanied by piano, organ, flute, drum, and shaker. 413-253-3456. 165 Main Street. Amherst, MA. (SUGGESTED DONATION >$)

Sunday, May 4, 7:30am-11:30am – BIRD STUDIES: Join the Berkshire Natural Resources Council for an easy bird walk at their Steepletop Preserve. The walk will take you through wetlands, mature forests, fields, field edges, woodland clearings, and more, in search of unique bird species. This hike is easy and roughly two miles, making it appropriate for older students interested in birds and hiking. 413-499-0596. New Marlborough-Monterey Road. New Marlborough, MA.

Sunday, May 4, 1pm-3pm – PLANT STUDIES: Discover Spring wildflowers at Field Farm with The Trustees of Reservations and naturalist Pam Weatherbee. Learn about many of the interesting Spring wildflowers that can be found at Field Farm on this family-friendly walk. 413-532-1631 x10. 554 Sloan Road. Williamstown, MA. >$

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Monday, May 5th, 2014

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Here are two Cinco de May Episode of the Hilltown Family Variety Show (HFVS):

Monday, May 5, 10am – LITERACY: The Berkshire Athenaeum presents “Fun With Words,” an event for children and their parents that is part of the Every Child Ready to Read series of programs. This event will teach parents how to help their children develop early literacy skills and foster in them a love of reading. 413-499-4809. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA.

Monday, May 5, 4pm – LITERACY: Kids can practice their reading skills by reading out loud one-on-one with a trained therapy dog at the East Longmeadow Public Library. Reading out loud to dogs is a good way for kids to gain confidence in reading out loud, since dogs are non-judgmental listeners. Call or stop by the library to reserve a time. 413-525-5400 x1506. 60 Center Square. East Longmeadow, MA.

Monday, May 5, 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. Lynn Adler, who will present, “Sex and Drugs and Plants and Bugs.” Learn about plant-insect interactions like pollination and more. 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, May 5, 6pm-7pm – CREATIVITY: Dean Nimmer presents, “Made in the Happy Valley – Stop Whining and Create!” at the Wistariahurst Museum. Nimmer will discuss the importance of fostering creativity to enhance the quality of your life. This lecture would be best for older students who consider themselves creative or who want to learn how to be more creative. 413-322-5660. 238 Cabot Street. Holyoke, 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, May 6th, 2014

Tuesday, May 6, 5pm – FAMILY MOVIE: Come see a screening of Frozen (2013; rated PG) at the East Longmeadow Public Library. Kids and adults will love this award-winning Disney movie. 413-525-5400 x1506. 60 Center Square. East Longmeadow, MA.

Tuesday, May 6, 7pm – SCIENCE/FILM: Amherst Cinema’s “Science on Screen” events pair classic sci-fi films with talks by actual scientists. Learn about physics, nanotechnology, and biology at a screening of Fantastic Voyage (1966; rated PG), accompanied by a discussion on the history and future of nanotechnology with Dr. Katherine Aidala. The film is about a group of scientists who are miniaturized and injected into the bloodstream of a famous physicist in order to destroy a clot that threatens his life. Dr. Aidala will talk about the progress that has been made in the field of nanotechnology and what this means for curing diseases like cancer. Older students who like science fiction and who are interested in science will enjoy this event. 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. $

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

  • 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, May 7th, 2014

Wednesday, May 7, 10am-12noon – HIKING: Join the Berkshire Natural Resources Council for a dog-friendly hike at Steepletop! This easy, three-mile hike is great for families and their well-behaved dogs. Explore the outdoors with the whole family on this fun hike. 413-499-0596. New Marlborough-Monterey Road. New Marlborough, MA.

Wednesday, May 7, 11am – STORYTIME: Kids ages 2-6 can attend a “Big Screen Story Time” at the East Longmeadow Public Library. Enjoy a “drive-in” movie of picture books on the big screen. Please register in advance. 413-525-5400 x1506. 60 Center Square. East Longmeadow, MA.

Wednesday, May 7, 2pm-6pm – FARMERS’ MARKET: The Amherst Wednesday Market at Kendrick Park starts on May 7! Come for local fruits, vegetables, prepared foods, music, vendors, and more. Amherst, MA.

Wednesday, May 7, 4pm-5:30pm – ARTS & CRAFTS: Learn how to create with wool at a felting workshop with fiber artist Sue McFarland at the Sunderland Public Library. Teens and tweens in grades 5-12 can learn to make interesting things from felt. This is a great chance to learn this fun and unique fiber art! All materials are provided, but please bring an old towel and one quart ziploc bag. Call to register. 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, May 7, 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, May 7, 6pm – HISTORY: Tom Kass presents, “Tom Browne: King of the Whistlers,” at the Holyoke Public Library as part of the Holyoke History Room Guest Speaker Series. Kass will discuss the life of Tom Browne, who performed whistling in clubs and at events, which led to a career in whistling on Broadway, in Europe, and in front of King Edward VII. Kass’ talk will tell of late-19th Century musical culture and popular entertainment. Older students interested in music, entertainment, and history will like this talk about a well-known whistler from Holyoke! 413-420-8101. 250 Chestnut Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, May 7, 6pm – PLANT STUDIES: Discover the historic gardens of the Wistariahurst Museum at a presentation and garden tour. See photos, design plans, garden notes, and personal reflections, and learn how the gardens have evolved over time. Older students interested in local history and gardening will enjoy learning about these local historic gardens! 413-322-5660. 238 Cabot Street. Holyoke, MA. >$

Wednesday, May 7, 6pm-7:30pm – ARTS & CRAFTS: Learn how to create with wool at an Introduction to Felt Making with Fiber Artist Sue McFarland at the Sunderland Public Library. Teens and adults ages 14 and up can learn to make flat felt, beads, and ropes. This is a great chance to learn this fun and unique fiber art! All materials are provided, but please bring an old towel and one quart ziploc bag. Call to register. 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, May 7, 6pm-8pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: The Collaborative for Educational Services is offering “Positive Solutions for Families,” a workshop for parents of children 3-5 years old. The workshop aims to help parents explore their child’s social and emotional development and how best to nurture that development by connecting with their child through play, communication, relationship building, and healthy limit setting. This workshop is four parts (5/7, 5/14, 5/21, and 5/28, 6pm-8pm) and it is recommended that you attend all four sessions. The workshop is free, but registration is required. Childcare is provided. Takes place at Spring Street Preschool. 413-570-3061. 64 Spring Street. Amherst, 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, May 8th, 2014

Thursday, May 8, 11am – YOGA: Kids ages 2-6 can enjoy creative kids yoga with Lisa Katz at the East Longmeadow Public Library. Participate in playful and imaginative exploration through music and movement at this fun event for kids and their caregivers. 413-525-5400 x1506. 60 Center Square. East Longmeadow, MA.

Thursday, May 8, 12:15pm – HISTORY/FASHION/ENGINEERING: This week’s Museums a la Carte lecture at the Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts is, “The Romantic Roots of Steampunk,” with Lynne Z. Bassett, costume and textile historian. Bassett will discuss the romantic philosophy of the early 19th Century that embraced imagination, history, religion, sentimentality, spiritualism, and nature as a way to combat the stresses of the new industrial economy. She will examine how these affected clothing during the time period and how these styles have been revived in goth and steampunk fashions. Older students interested in history, fashion, and Steampunk will enjoy this talk. 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. >$

Thursday, May 8, 4:30-5:30pm – ENVIRONMENTAL HISTORY: Studying environmental history offers insights into the ways that past generations of Americans imagined and shaped the land, as well as helps us to understand the roots of the current environmental crises that they are inheriting. “Learning from American Environmental History,” a public lecture by Professor David Glassberg is being offered at Hampshire Educational Collaborative. This lecture will explore various topics in American Environmental History as represented by documents, prints and photographs, and motion pictures available on-line through the Library of Congress and other repositories. This event is a part of the 2013-2014 History Institute, a four-part series on contemporary events in historical perspective sponsored by the UMass History Department and the Collaborative for Educational Services. A workshop for K-12 teachers will follow from 5:30-7pm. 97 Hawley St. Northampton, MA (FREE)

Thursday, May 8, 6pm – DENDROLOGY/FORESTS: The fascinating history of the forests of western Massachusetts is on display for all to see if you know where to look. If you want to learn how to look a little closer, join Tom Wessels for a talk about how to decipher the evidence etched into our forested landscape to unravel its complex stories. Using evidence such as the shapes of trees, scars on their trunks, the pattern of decay in stumps, the construction of stone walls, and the lay of the land, Tom will teach you how to piece together the stories and history of our local forests. 413-625-9151. Greenfield Community College Dining Commons. Greenfield, MA (FREE)

Thursday, May 8, 7pm – CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Michael Ponsor, author of The Hanging Judge, will be speaking at the Worthington Library. Based on the author’s experience as a federal judge, his extraordinary thriller offers an unprecedented view of a federal death penalty trial. Refreshments will be provided.  Mr Ponsor will have books available for signing. Worthington, MA (FREE)

Thursday, May 8, 7pm-8:30pm – BIRD STUDIES: Join the Jones Library for a presentation by naturalist John Root. Root presents “Songbirds of the Northeast,” a presentation with photos and recordings of the region’s most common songbirds. Learn how to identify these birds by sight as well as their songs and calls. Students interested in birds will enjoy this talk. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, May 8, 7pm-8:30pm – ANIMALS: The Berkshire Humane Society is hosting a talk by Stacey Carver and Melissa Tharion from Berkshire Animal DREAMS as part of their Coffee Hour Speaking Series – “Advocating for Berkshire County’s Feral and Community Cats.” Carver and Tharion will discuss their organization’s mission to help these cats and ways in which the community can help curb cat overpopulation in the area, like Trap Neuter Return practices. Cat-lovers who are interested in helping their community’s many stray cats will enjoy this talk. 413-447-7878. 214 Barker Road. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

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, May 9th, 2014

Friday, May 9, 11am – STORYTIME/PLAYTIME: Kids ages 2 and under can attend a fun story and play time at the East Longmeadow Public Library. Please register in advance. 413-525-5400 x1506. 60 Center Square. East Longmeadow, MA.

Friday, May 9, 11am-5pm – PLANT SALE: The Berkshire Botanical Garden is holding their 37th Annual Plant Sale on May 9th and 10th. Come by to check out their amazing selection of plants for sale, shop from vendors, participate in a silent auction, and go to the container design station. Plant-lovers of all ages will enjoy this event, which is a fun way to find interesting plants for your garden. 413-298-3926. 5 West Stockbridge Road. Stockbridge, MA.

Friday, May 9, 3:30pm – CHESS: Kids ages 7 and up can come to the West Springfield Public Library to improve their chess skills by playing against other kids. This is a great way to make new friends while working your way up to becoming a chess master! 413-736-4561 x3. 200 Park Street. West Springfield, MA.

Friday, May 9, 5pm-6pm – KNITTING: Are your kids interested in knitting? The Sunderland Public Library is offering a knitting event for teens and tweens in grades 5-12. Come work on a project or learn to knit for the first time! 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA.

Friday, May 9, 5:30pm-7pm – PARENT-CHILD EVENT: Kids ages 6 and under can enjoy a fun Dinner with Dad (or grandpa, uncle, male role model, etc.) at Sunderland Elementary School, presented by Frontier Regional Coordinated Family and Community Engagement Program. In addition to this free dinner, the Hitchcock Center for the Environment will present a Family Science Workshop. Kids and dads can enjoy dinner and quality time together while completing fun science projects. Please RSVP by May 7. 413-665-1155. 1 Swampfield Drive. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Friday, May 9, 5:30pm-7pm – COMMUNITY MEAL/FUNDRAISER: The Sunrise Foundation is hosting a Sunrise Houseparty for All Ages to raise support for the Sunrise Foundation. The evening features a traditional Nicaraguan dinner and a participatory enactment of “Uncle Cricket: A Nicaraguan Folk Story” by storyteller Tom McCabe. The Sunrise Foundation works with marginalized families in Camoapa, Nicaragua. This is a great chance to support this organization while learning about Nicaraguan food and culture. Takes place in the Common House at Rocky Hill Co-Housing Community. Email lisa.hall@thesunrisefoundation.org to RSVP. 413-268-9271. 100 Black Birch Trail. Florence, MA. (SUGGESTED DONATION $-$$$)

Friday, May 9, 7:30pm: HISTORY/MUSIC STUDIES: Ever wonder how families entertained themselves before television and the internet? Music and singing played an important role in entertainment. The Sheffield Historical Society will host an  interactive media presentation showing clips of the performers who kept America strong with song through the dark days of 1939 to 1945 on the radio, in movies, and on stage. This multimedia presentation by John Arthur Miller, “Keep Smiling Through, Songs That Won World War II,” takes place at Dewey Hall. Learn about the history of WWII through performance and song. 413-229-2694. 91 Main St, Sheffield, MA. (FREE) 

Friday, May 9, 8pm – THEATER: The Berkshire Community College Players present a performance of Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein. Based on the comedy film of the same name, this play is about Frederick Frankenstein, the grandson of the infamous Victor Frankenstein, who inherits his family’s estate in Transylvania and brings a creature back to life. Teens and adults will love this hilarious performance, and fans of the movie will enjoy seeing it brought to life on stage. Takes place in Boland Theatre. Tickets are available in advance. 413-499-0886. 1350 West Street. Pittsfield, 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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