Suggested Events for November 29th-December 5th, 2014

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Hilltown Families gives a link to many events in our area.  I check it weekly to find out good ideas for events to attend alone or with my grandchildren.” – Denise Banister (Williamsburg, 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.

Bulletin Board

Open House Dec 1

Gan Keshet (Rainbow Garden) Jewish Community Preschool Open House: Monday, Dec 1 from 9:30-11am (Snow date, Mon., Dec. 8) at 253 Prospect St., Northampton, MA. Come visit with your child and meet their experienced staff. The Preschool offers: Part/Full Day Options; flexible scheduling; Farm/Garden Based Activities; and a Summer Program. Ask about HGF Right Start Grant- your family could be eligible to receive $1000-2000 towards your child’s tuition! The preschool values diversity and welcome all families in the community. Contact Preschool Director, Wendy Stein at 413-584-3593 x204 or gan.keshet@cbi.northampton.org. For more info visit online: www.cbinorthampton.org; www.facebook.com/Gan.Keshet.Jewish.Community.Preschool.

Dec 6

Crafty Rumpus and Yggdrasil: (Center School’s Open House that is Open to Everyone) is Saturday, December 6 from 10am-2pm. PreK-8th grade teachers will offer free nature art and crafting projects for kids ages 3-12. And, back by popular demand, Yggdrasil: an interactive, enchanted indoor forest. Yggdrasil is a tree in Norse mythology that welcomes us into 9 magical realms. Free Yggdrasil realms will feature archery with Amherst Archery Association, a labyrinth, a transfiguration realm, a cave to discover one’s own power animal and more! In addition: savory and sweet foods available for purchase, Come to Rumpus and Yggdrasil, meet the teachers and families of The Center School. All are welcome! centerschoolrumpus.blogspot.com.

Every Sat

Find locally-grown food and live music every Saturday from 9am – 2pm at the Northampton Winter Farmers’ Market. Four vegetable farms offer organic greens, root vegetables, and winter squash all season long. Apples, cranberries, cheeses, meats, eggs, breads, ferments, mushrooms, pastries, chocolates, maple syrup, honey, herbs, cold-pressed juices, and prepared foods from over 25 farms and food producers add to the mix. Bring your family by the market every Saturday through April 18th at Smith Voke, 80 Locust Street, Northampton (Route 9 between downtown Northampton and Florence Center). Food Stamps/SNAP accepted. Subscribe to the market’s newsletter at www.nohowintermarket.com/subscribe or contact nohowintermarket@gmail.com for more information.

Dec 6

Winter Fair on Saturday, December 6 from 10am–3pm at the Hilltown Cooperative Charter School new location: 1 Industrial Way, Easthampton, MA. The Winter Fair at HCCPS is a fun and festive annual event which includes craft and gift-making for all ages, musical performances, book sales and delicious food. Come with your children and create gifts for family and friends, then stay for performances and some homemade treats! There is something for everyone at the Hilltown Winter Fair. For more information call the school at 413-529-7178 or check out their web site: www.hilltowncharter.org.

On Wednesday, December 10th, Hilltown Families will be will be participating in Valley Gives! As we enter our 10th year, this will be our 1st Annual Appeal Campaign, asking you to support us with a financial donation so that we may continue to support education through community engagement through this communication network you have grown to love and depend upon. We are inviting folks to be a part of our virtual STREET TEAM, helping us spread the word about our participation in Valley Gives and rallying support on our behalf. Join us in this exciting campaign! Email Sienna at swildfield@hilltownfamilies.org for information on how to get involved. Want to learn more about the vision and mission of Hilltown Families? Check out this TEDx Talk: Supporting Education Through Community Engagement. — And mark your calendars, DEC 10, for an exciting day of giving through Valley Gives!

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your holiday event, school, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business, community event, program, after school class, 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 info@hilltownfamilies.org.

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 info@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
November 29th – December 5th, 2014

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Events Happening in the Hilltowns

Saturday, November 29th, 2014

Ongoing Saturday Events

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. Chris Bellow from Caspar Babypants is our Guest DJ. Chris writes, “The theme of this show is “finding the roots”. I want to explore the old songs that endure from many years ago until today and talk about why they are important. Many of my song choices for families are based on songs that have this kind of historical integrity and I am excited to share that with you. 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 over 7 years!

Saturday, November 29, ALL DAY – LOCAL BUSINESS: Looking for an alternative to hectic Black Friday weekend mall shopping? Come to downtown Amherst and support local businesses for Small Business Saturday! Explore the town and visit its many stores in search of holiday gifts. This is a great chance to shop locally this holiday season! Downtown. Amherst, MA.

Saturday, November 29, 9am – SANTA: Don’t miss Yankee Candle’s holiday celebration for kids of all ages! Santa’s elves will entertain and then Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive by helicopter at Yankee Candle Village (10am)! There will also be carolers, sleigh rides, holiday cheer, and much more! The event is free but some activities may have fees. 877-636-7707. 25 Greenfield Road. South Deerfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, November 29 at 9:30am – HOLIDAY PARADE: The Florence Holiday Parade steps off at Trinity Row and marches down towards the Civic Center!  Bring family and friends and come usher in the holidays with this fun parade.  Meet Santa and enjoy a festive morning. Downtown.  Florence, MA.

Saturday, November 29, 9:30am-4pm – THANKSGIVING/HISTORY: Spend Thanksgiving weekend at Old Sturbridge Village and learn about Thanksgiving customs of the 19th Century. See a re-created early New England wedding – meet the bride and groom and learn about how wedding were carried out in the past. There will also be musket firing demonstrations and an opportunity to learn about the history of Thanksgiving. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. ($$)

Saturday, November 29, 10am-4pm – ART SALE: Snow Farm’s annual seconds sale takes place on weekends throughout November – there’s new art every weekend! Stop by to see what’s there and get a jump start on holiday shopping. Shop local and handmade for the holidays! There will even be an opportunity to MYO glass ornaments ($$). 413-268-3101. 5 Clary Road. Williamsburg, MA. (SALE)

Saturday, November 29, 10am-6pm – LOCAL BUSINESS/BOOKS: Celebrate books and support local businesses at Small Business Saturday at the Odyssey Bookshop. Visit the Odyssey to find great books for all ages and get some holiday shopping done locally. In addition to their great selection of books, there will also be free cider, food vendors, and guest booksellers, including Jarrett and Gina Krosoczka, Chrysler Szarlan, Mo Willems, Heidi Stemple, Suzanne Strempek, Holly Black, Kelly Link and Gavin Grant, and Bill Newman. Come support the Odyssey and meet local authors and get their book recommendations at this fun event. 413-534-7307. 9 College Street. South Hadley, MA.

Saturday, November 29, 1pm-4pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Celebrate the art of adventure at the Norman Rockwell Museum’s Family Day! See the art of Mort Kunstler, get books and prints signed, hear music by Wind of the Wilderness, see a fly-tying demonstration, hear adventure tales with storyteller Tony Toledo, and build an action-adventure diorama. Families can have a blast together exploring the museum and its new exhibition. Free with museum admission. 413-298-4100. 9 Route 183. Stockbridge, MA. ($$)

Saturday, November 29, 1pm-4pm – LEGOS: Have fun with LEGOs at “Santa’s Workshop” at the South Deerfield Congregational Church on November 29. Kids can come play games and get creative using LEGOs to build sleighs, presents, and trees for the holiday season. Go to the Bricks 4 Kidz for more information and to register. 413-345-8035. 71 North Main Street. South Deerfield, MA. ($$)

Saturday, November 29, 2pm – MOVIE: The Westfield Athenaeum is screening Maleficent (2014; rated PG) for grades 6-12. Please register in advance. 413-562-6158 x5. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, November 29, 2pm – STORYTIME: Join the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art for a special storytime with author/illustrator Scott Magoon. He will read from his books, draw some characters for you, and leads a sing-along from his new book, The Nuts: Bedtime at the Nut House, written by Eric Litwin. Magoon will also discuss his illustration process and sign books for visitors. This event is free with museum admission. 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. ($)

Saturday, November 29, 2pm & 3pm – PUPPETRY: See Leo Lionni’s stories come to life at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. Picture Book Theatre will perform Tico and the Golden Wings and Geraldine the Music Mouse with puppets and dancers. Fans Lionni’s work will love these unique performances! Tickets available in advance. 413-658-1126. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. (>$)

Saturday, November 29, 2pm & 7pm – CHRISTMAS CONCERT: Celebrate Christmas early at the Colonial Theatre! Berkshire Theatre Group presents Mary Verdi, a local singer-songwriter who annually performs for the holidays in the Berkshires. Families can sing along to old favorites, and the show will also feature Rev Tor, the Dalton Ballet Troupe, a local children’s choir, Berkshire Music School violinists, and Santa Claus. Families will love this special night of nostalgia and holiday music! Best for kids with audience skills. 413-997-4444. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($$)

Saturday, November 29, 2:30pm – FAMILY MOVIE/CHRISTMAS: Come see an animated movie (rated PG) based on Charles Dickens’ famous holiday novel at the Jones Library. Families can enjoy the movie together and get into the Christmas spirit! 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, November 29, 3pm – ICE SKATING: Learn to Skate with the Springfield Police Department every Saturday through January 3! This free program is a great chance for kids of all ages to learn how to ice skate – they will be taught by off-duty Springfield Police officers. Bring a well-fitting helmet (a bicycle helmet will do) and gloves/mittens and arrive early to rent skates (free). Takes place at Cyr Arena in Forest Park. 413-787-6341. 200 Trafton Road. Springfield, MA.

Saturday, November 29, 4pm – CHORAL MUSIC: The Berkshire Bach Players are holding a Handel’s Messiah Sing-In at the First Congregational Church in Great Barrington. All are welcome to come usher in the holidays and sign in this informal chorus. You are welcome to bring your own score or borrow one at the Church. This event would be best for older students interested in classical music. 413-528-9277. 251 Main Street. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE/DONATIONS WELCOME)

Saturday, November 29, 4pm & 7pm – FILM: Celebrate the 75th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz (1939) at Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center! All ages will love seeing this classic film on the big screen. Tickets available in advance. 413-528-0100. 14 Castle Street. Great Barrington, MA. ($)

Saturday, November 29, 4:30pm-8pm – TREE LIGHTING: Kick off the holiday season in Holyoke at the city’s tree lighting ceremony! Come to City Hall for carriage rides, holiday songs, crafts, hot chocolate and cookies, and more. Santa will arrive by Polar Express in Heritage State Park (5pm) and the tree will be lit at City Hall shortly afterward. This is a fun way to welcome the holiday season to Holyoke! 413-322-5510. Holyoke, MA.

Saturday, November 29, 5pm-11pm – HOLIDAY CELEBRATION: Bright Nights at Forest Park returns this season for holiday fun! Bring the whole family to come see the beautiful holiday light display. More information and a schedule available here. Runs through January 4. Sumner Avenue. Springfield, MA. ($$)

Saturday, November 29, 5:30pm – PARADE/TREE LIGHTING: Westfield’s Dickens Days Lanternlight Parade and Tree Lighting take place in Downtown Westfield! The festive parade features music, community groups, puppets, Santa Claus, and more. Follow the parade down Elm Street to Park Square, where the mayor will light the city’s 20-foot tree. There will be cocoa, caroling, and a chance to meet Santa. Families are welcome to create their own puppets at the South Middle School cafeteria (West Silver Street) from 11am-1pm, and then show their puppets off in the parade! Celebrate the holidays and engage with your community on this special day. 413-562-2277. Elm Street. Westfield, MA.

Saturday, November 29, 7:30pm – CONCERT: Join the Palmer Historical Society for a concert by Taste of Honey: A Tijuana Brass Tribute Band at Harmony Hall. Advance reservations available. 413-289-9295. 2072 Main Street. Three Rivers, MA. ($$)

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

Saturday, November 29, 8pm – CONCERT: Join alumni of the RH Conwell Elementary School for a reunion and concert at Listons. The Lost 45’s will perform at this event, which is meant to celebrate the school, its students, and its alumni. Come to Listons for this fun, musical evening! Call for tickets or purchase at door. 413-446-3032. 324 Old North Road. Worthington, MA. ($$$)

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Sunday, November 30th, 2014

Ongoing Sunday Events

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, November 30, 10am – CHRISTMAS PARADE: Get excited for Christmas at Yankee Candle’s Santa’s Holiday Parade. Enjoy sleigh rides, train rides, carolers, and and ice carving demonstration at this fun event. 877-636-7707. 25 Greenfield Road. South Deerfield, MA.

Sunday, November 30, 10am-4pm – ART SALE: Snow Farm’s annual seconds sale takes place on weekends throughout November – there’s new art every weekend! Stop by to see what’s there and get a jump start on holiday shopping. Shop local and handmade for the holidays! There will even be an opportunity to MYO glass ornaments ($$). 413-268-3101. 5 Clary Road. Williamsburg, MA. (SALE)

Sunday, November 30, 10:30am-2:30pm – FAMILY MEAL/SANTA: Have an extra special Sunday brunch at the Lord Jeffery Inn this holiday season… Santa will be joining you! Come for delicious brunch foods, time with family, and a chance to meet Santa. Call for more information. 413-256-8200. 30 Boltwood Avenue. Amherst, MA.

Sunday, November 30, 11am – WALK/RUN: Are you looking to spend time outdoors with your family?  The 11th annual Gorge aprés Gorge takes place today at the Chesterfield Gorge!  This free three-mile run/walk is intended to get families to come together for exercise and fun in the great outdoors.  If there is snow, feel free to bring skis, snowshoes, sleds, etc.  There will be hot drinks served in the parking lot.  This is a fun community event and a great way to spend time with other families during the holiday season.  There is also a 5K run at the Gorge at 9am ($$).  River Road (TTOR Chesterfield Gorge).  West Chesterfield, MA.  (FREE) [Cancelled]

Sunday, November 30, 12noon-5pm – FESTIVAL OF TREES: Join the Berkshire Museum on a wildlife expedition through the galleries with this year’s “Festival of Trees 2014 On Safari.” This annual holiday event will feature more than 100 twinkling, tantalizing holiday trees decorated to evoke an exotic safari adventure. Visitors can expect to see lots of wonderful trees with animals incorporated into the designs – from cuddly stuffed animals to themes focused on the out-of-doors and wildlife. The Festival of Trees is an annual fundraiser for the Museum’s educational programs, and it is open every day through Sunday, January 4. Free with museum admission. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street (Route 7). Pittsfield, MA ($)

Sunday, November 30, 1pm – ART: The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art presents a special Art Studio activity with illustrator Kelly Light! Learn about her illustration style and her books, including Louise Loves Art. This event is free with museum admission. 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. ($)

Sunday, November 30, 5pm-9pm – HOLIDAY CELEBRATION: Bright Nights at Forest Park returns this season for holiday fun! Bring the whole family to come see the beautiful holiday light display. More information and a schedule available here. Runs through January 4. Sumner Avenue. Springfield, MA. ($$)

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Monday, December 1st, 2014

Monday, December 1, 9:30-11am – OPEN HOUSE: Gan Keshet (Rainbow Garden) Jewish Community Preschool will be hosting an open house. 413-584-3593 x204. 253 Prospect Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE) 

Monday, December 1, 9:30am-8pm – COMMUNITY SERVICE: Help a homeless child have a more joyous holiday season at the Giving Tree at the East Longmeadow Public Library. Come pick a tag off the tree and purchase a new gift for a homeless child from the Family Place Shelter in Holyoke. This is a great way to brighten someone’s holiday season. The Giving Tree will be in the library through December 17. 413-525-5400 x4. 60 Center Square. East Longmeadow, MA. (>$-$$)

Monday, December 1, 9:30am-8pm – COMMUNITY SERVICE/FOOD DRIVE: The East Longmeadow Public Library Junior Advisory Council is holding a food drive to benefit Rachel’s Table and the Holyoke School Backpack Program. Come by the library from December 1-13 to donate individually packaged items to be taken to school for lunch – think things like canned tuna, chili, mac and cheese cups, fruit cups, cheese and cracker packs, etc. This drive is a good way to do your part in helping to fight childhood hunger. 413-525-5400 x4. 60 Center Square. East Longmeadow, MA. (DONATION)

Monday, December 1, 10am-12noon – CHILDREN’S BOOKS: It’s Book Week at the Easthampton Family Center! Come by during regular playgroup hours (12/1, 12/2, and 12/5 10am-12noon) and bring children’s books to share or take same home. You don’t need to bring books to take books, and any leftover books will be donated. This is a great chance to give some of your books a new home and to discover new-to-you books! 413-527-5496. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

Monday, December 1, 10:30am-11:45am – PLAYGROUP: The Sunderland Public Library is having a baby playgroup! Come meet other babies and parents/caregivers and have a good time playing and socializing. 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Monday, December 1, 3:30pm – LEGOS: Ages 6 and up can attend the Westfield Athenaeum‘s new Building Blocks Club. Have fun and get creative building LEGO masterpieces. Call or stop by the library to register. 413-568-7833. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Monday, December 1, 7pm – FILM STUDIES/CULTURAL STUDIES: Williams College presents the South Asian Film Series: Highlights of Indian Cinema 1955-2013. Film fans can come see key films from the past six decades at this series. On December 1, see Deewar (1975), which is considered a landmark Hindi film. Older students will enjoy this film series, and can learn about both the history of film and Indian culture through the screenings. Takes place in Paresky Center Auditorium. 413-597-3131. 39 Chapin Hall Drive. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

ONGOING FOR MONDAY (We are building up our ongoing list for the school year! To add your free ongoing event/activity here, email us at info@hilltownfamilies.org)

  • 9am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Amherst Family Center is open every Monday through Friday, 9am-12noon. Drop in for playgroups and activities for young children (ages 0-5) and caregivers. 413-256-1145. 1200 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Kids ages 5 and under and their caregivers can come to the South Hadley Family Center every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday for playgroups and more. The Center follows the South Hadley Schools’ calendar. 413-533-7096. 7 Woodbridge Street. South Hadley, MA.
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Northampton Parents Center will be open Monday-Thursday from 9:30am-11:30am for playgroup, toys, books, activities, and more. Kids ages 5 and under and their caregivers can drop in to meet and play with others. 413-582-2636. 297 Main Street, Lower Level. Northampton, MA.
  • 10am – PLAYGROUP: Children ages 8 and under can attend a playgroup at the Meekins Library the first and third Monday of each month. Enjoy stories, games, crafts, and more at this fun playgroup. 413-268-7472. 2 Williams Street. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am – KNITTING: The Sunderland Public Library has a knitting group on Mondays. The group is open to knitters of all levels and ages. Great intergenerational activity to do with young homeschoolers. Runs most Mondays. 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-10:45am – STORYTIME: Kids can come to the Holyoke Public Library every Monday and Wednesday at 10am for stories with Nathan! 413-420-8105. 250 Chestnut Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11am – PLAYGROUP: Join the Pittsfield CFCE for “Fun on the Farm” every Monday at Herman Melville’s Arrowhead. 413-499-4809. 780 Holmes Road. Pittsfield, MA.
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Family Resource Center is offering a Play and Learn Group every Monday at the Williamstown Youth Center. 413-664-4821. School Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Easthampton Family Center is open every Monday, Tuesday, and Friday for drop-in playgroup and activities for kids ages 5 and under. The Family Center follows the Easthampton Public Schools schedule. 413-527-5496. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA.
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Come to Books and Babies at the East Longmeadow Public Library every Monday. Kids ages 2 and under can hear stories, see fingerplays, and have fun together. 413-525-5400 x1506. 60 Center Square. East Longmeadow, MA.
  • 10:30am – MUSIC: Infants, toddlers, and preschoolers can attend Music for Little Ones at the Pelham Library every Monday. 413-253-0657. 2 South Valley Road. Pelham, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Kids can come to the Forbes Library for a fun storytime every Monday. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA.
  • 10:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Storrs Library offers a drop-in playgroup for kids ages 3 and under every Monday morning. Come hear a story, sing songs, and enjoy free play. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am-11:30am – CHILDREN’S PROGRAM: Every Monday at 11am, Moo-Licious Farm will offer an educational show for kids. Call for more info. 413-569-1700. 258 Feeding Hills Road. Southwick, MA.
  • 11am-12:30pm – PARENT GROUP: Mothers of infants and young children, as well as expectant moms, can come to the Hilltown Village Mothers’ Group every Monday at St. John’s Corner House. Come talk about motherhood and share your experiences in this supportive group environment. Childcare is available for kids up to age 4; infants in arms are welcome. The group follows the Mohawk Trail school schedule. 413-522-9732. 469 Main Street. Ashfield, MA.
  • 11am-12:30pm – PLAYGROUP: Young kids can come to tummy time at the Forbes Library every Monday. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA.
  • 3:15pm-4:15pm – CHESS: Students in grades 2 and up can come to an afterschool chess club every Monday at the Storrs Library. All levels are welcome to come learn new strategies and have fun playing with peers. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)
  • 4pm-7pm – ARTS & CRAFTS: Come to the Holyoke Public Library every Monday evening for a drop-in craft activity! 413-420-8105. 250 Chestnut Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)
  • 5:30pm-6:30pm – PLAYGROUP: The Family Resource Center is offering a Gym Group for ages walking to 8 every Monday at the Haskins Center. 413-664-4821. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 6:30pm – KNITTING: All skill levels can attend a knitting group at the Westhampton Public Library every Monday evening. Come learn and share tips and tricks with knitters of all ages and levels. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 6:30pm-7pm – STORYTIME: Kids can unwind at the end of the day at the Montague Center Library‘s weekly evening storytime. Kids are welcome to come to the storytime in their pajamas. 413-367-2852. 17 Center Street. Montague, MA. (FREE)

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Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

Tuesday, December 2, 9:30am-10:30am – SPANISH LANGUAGE: Preschoolers can come learn Spanish at the East Longmeadow Public Library. Clifford the Big Red Dog will help ages 3-6 learn some basic Spanish, including the colors. Please sign up. 413-525-5400 x1506. 60 Center Square. East Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, December 2, 10am-12noon – CHILDREN’S BOOKS: It’s Book Week at the Easthampton Family Center! Come by during regular playgroup hours (12/1, 12/2, and 12/5 10am-12noon) and bring children’s books to share or take same home. You don’t need to bring books to take books, and any leftover books will be donated. This is a great chance to give some of your books a new home and to discover new-to-you books! 413-527-5496. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, December 2, 5:30-7:30pm – KWANZAA: The Malcolm X Cultural Center will host the Annual Kwanzaa Celebration.  This event is one of several signature cultural celebratory events for the campus community and the general public. At the UMass Amherst, Kwanzaa is co-supported by local African Diaspora Alum, faculty, staff and student organizations who lend their talents, scholarship and creative voices as a means of acknowledging current contributions by Africans, African Americans, Afro-Caribbean, and Afro Latinos to the global community. Takes place at the Student Union Ballroom and dinner is provided. 413-886-2375. 280 Hicks Way. Amherst, MA (FREE)

ONGOING FOR TUESDAYS (We are building up our ongoing list for the school year! To add your free ongoing event/activity here, email us at info@hilltownfamilies.org)

  • 9am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Belchertown Family Center is open Tuesday-Friday from 9am-12noon for drop-in activities for infants, preschoolers, and their caregivers. 413-283-7594. 720 Franklin Street. Belchertown, MA. (FREE)
  • 9am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Amherst Family Center is open every Monday through Friday, 9am-12noon. Drop in for playgroups and activities for young children (ages 0-5) and caregivers. 413-256-1145. 1200 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 9am-12midnight – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Amherst College’s Mead Art Museum is open late – until 12midnight – every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday during the College’s academic year. Avoid the crowds and check out the museum’s exhibitions, gift shop, and cafe during these special late hours. 413-542-2335. 41 Quadrangle Drive. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: Join the Pittsfield CFCE every Tuesday for a playgroup at Egremont Elementary School. 413-499-4809. Pittsfield, MA.
  • 9:30am-11am – PLAYGROUP: Playgroup for young kids ages birth-preK at theDickinson Memorial Library with Deb Wood features fun toys and more! Every Tuesday. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Kids ages 5 and under and their caregivers can come to the South Hadley Family Center every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday for playgroups and more. The Center follows the South Hadley Schools’ calendar. 413-533-7096. 7 Woodbridge Street. South Hadley, MA.
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Northampton Parents Center will be open Monday-Thursday from 9:30am-11:30am for playgroup, toys, books, activities, and more. Kids ages 5 and under and their caregivers can drop in to meet and play with others. 413-582-2636. 297 Main Street, Lower Level. Northampton, MA.
  • 10am – STORYTIME: Come to the Goodwin Memorial Library every Tuesday for storytime! Runs all year. 413-584-7451. Route 47 & Route 9. Hadley, MA.
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Family Resource Center is offering a Play and Learn Group every Tuesday at the Haskins Center. 413-664-4821. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Easthampton Family Center is open every Monday, Tuesday, and Friday for drop-in playgroup and activities for kids ages 5 and under. The Family Center follows the Easthampton Public Schools schedule. 413-527-5496. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA.
  • 10:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: South Berkshire Kids is offering a Brain Builder Play and Learn Group at the Mason Library every Tuesday. Kids ages birth to age 5 can come read, sing, play, and talk, with a focus on STEM concepts and early literacy. 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am-11:30am – STORYTIME: The Lenox Library is offering a storytime for toddlers ages 18 months to 3 years every Tuesday. This storytime follows the school district schedule. 413-637-0197. 18 Main Street. Lenox, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Westhampton Public Library is holding a baby and toddler playtime every Tuesday. Come to the library and meet other kids and parents. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 2pm – FILM: Amherst Cinema offers weekly matinees on Tuesdays especially for people with babies! This is a great chance to get out and see a movie without having to worry about finding a sitter. Check their website to see what’s playing each week. 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. >$
  • 3:30pm-4:30pm – LEGOS: The Family Resource Center is offering a LEGO group for ages 4-8 the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month. 413-664-4821. 74 Church Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 3:30pm-5:30pm – TEEN GROUP: Teens can come to the Lilly Library‘s Teen Scene every Tuesday for games, projects, crafts, movies, and more. Stop by for fun activities and friends! 413-587-1500. 19 Meadow Street. Florence, MA. (FREE)
  • 5:30pm & 6:30pm – KARATE: Free shotokan karate classes are offered every Tuesday and Thursday at Northfield Elementary School. There are two classes – one for 7-10 year olds (5:30pm-6:15pm) and one for teens and adults (6:30pm-7:30pm). More info available here. 802-451-0303. 104 Main Street. Northfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 5:30pm-6:30pm – PLAYGROUP: The Family Resource Center is offering a Play and Learn Group every Tuesday evening at the Greylock Apartments’ Community Room for children walking age to age 5. 413-664-4821. Angeli Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 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.
  • 6:30pm – STORYTIME: Kids can come to the Holyoke Public Library every Tuesday evening for storytime with Jason. This program includes stories, songs, fingerplays, and more. 413-420-8105. 250 Chestnut Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

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Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

Wednesday, December 3, TBA – MUSIC: Attend a free sample class by Music Together for Valley Families on December 3 at the Amherst Family Center. They will offer a sample of their parent/child music and movement program. Call to sign up and to find out time. 413-259-9400. 41 Campus Center Way, 428 Student Union Building. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, December 3, 10am-11:30am – HIKING: Join the Hilltown Land Trust for an early winter hike at Bradley Sanctuary. All ages can explore the trails and beautiful forests on this short, 2-mile hike along Nichols Brook. Email hltlandsteward@ttor.org or call to RSVP. 413-628-4485 x4. Old Goshen Road. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, December 3, 10am-5pm – FESTIVAL OF TREES: Join the Berkshire Museum on a wildlife expedition through the galleries with this year’s “Festival of Trees 2014 On Safari.” This annual holiday event will feature more than 100 twinkling, tantalizing holiday trees decorated to evoke an exotic safari adventure. Visitors can expect to see lots of wonderful trees with animals incorporated into the designs – from cuddly stuffed animals to themes focused on the out-of-doors and wildlife. The Festival of Trees is an annual fundraiser for the Museum’s educational programs, and it is open every day through Sunday, January 4. Free with museum admission. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street (Route 7). Pittsfield, MA ($)

Wednesday, December 3, 5:30pm-6:30pm – PARENT/EDUCATOR WORKSHOP: Parents and teachers of young children can learn about toys and activities for creative play at the Gorse Children’s Center on December 3. Limited childcare is available. Call to sign up. 413-533-9819. 27 Morgan Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, December 3, 6pm-8pm – ART: As part of their First Wednesdays Speaker Series, the Greenfield Public Library presents a workshop by Gail Callahan, the Kangaroo Dyer. Come learn about and play with color at this fun and engaging workshop. Best for older students and adults. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, December 3, 6:30pm – SELF-RELIANCE: The Sunderland Public Library presents a presentation by Kathy Harrison about Disaster Preparedness and Community. Harrison was recently on the National Geographic television show Doomsday Preppers and wrote a book titled, Just In Case: How to Be Self-Sufficient When the Unexpected Happens. She will discuss the role of self-sufficiency and community in preparing for unexpected disasters. Best for older students and adults. 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, December 3, 7pm – PERFORMANCE: Give thanks and celebrate the joys of the season at Bay Path University Performing Arts Department’s Winterfest! This annual tradition celebrates peace and features music, dance, poetry, song, and inspirational messages from spiritual leaders in the community. Best for older students and adults interested the performing arts. Takes place in Mills Theatre, Carr Hall on the Bay Path campus. 413-565-1307. 588 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

ONGOING FOR WEDNESDAYS (We are building up our ongoing list for the school year! To add your free ongoing event/activity here, email us at info@hilltownfamilies.org)

  • 9am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Belchertown Family Center is open Tuesday-Friday from 9am-12noon for drop-in activities for infants, preschoolers, and their caregivers. 413-283-7594. 720 Franklin Street. Belchertown, MA. (FREE)
  • 9am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Amherst Family Center is open every Monday through Friday, 9am-12noon. Drop in for playgroups and activities for young children (ages 0-5) and caregivers. 413-256-1145. 1200 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 9am-12midnight – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Amherst College’s Mead Art Museum is open late – until 12midnight – every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday during the College’s academic year. Avoid the crowds and check out the museum’s exhibitions, gift shop, and cafe during these special late hours. 413-542-2335. 41 Quadrangle Drive. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Kids ages 5 and under and their caregivers can come to the South Hadley Family Center every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday for playgroups and more. The Center follows the South Hadley Schools’ calendar. 413-533-7096. 7 Woodbridge Street. South Hadley, MA.
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Northampton Parents Center will be open Monday-Thursday from 9:30am-11:30am for playgroup, toys, books, activities, and more. Kids ages 5 and under and their caregivers can drop in to meet and play with others. 413-582-2636. 297 Main Street, Lower Level. Northampton, MA.
  • 10am-11am – PLAYGROUP: The Family Resource Center is offering a Play and Learn Group for toddlers at the Haskins Center. For ages 1-2.5. 413-664-4821. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am – STORYTIME: Parents and their preschoolers can come to the Westhampton Public Library for coffee and storytime every Wednesday. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-10:45am – STORYTIME: Kids can come to the Holyoke Public Library every Monday and Wednesday at 10am for stories with Nathan! 413-420-8105. 250 Chestnut Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:15am – STORYTIME: The Wilbraham Public Library holds a weekly storytime for ages 2-3 ½ every Wednesday OR Thursday. There will be fun stories and crafts. 413-596-6141. 25 Crane Park Drive. Wilbraham, MA. (FREE)
  • 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-11am – STEM: The Berkshire Museum is offering a Parent/Child STEM Session the second and fourth Wednesday of each month. Come explore science, technology, engineering, and math through books, hands-on activities, and play. Registration is required. 413-443-7171 x21. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am-12noon – STORYTIME: Preschool storyhour every Wednesday at the Dickinson Memorial Library with Ruthanne Paulson includes stories, music, movement, crafts, and a snack. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 1:30pm – NATURE STUDIES: Preschool-aged kids can attend Kidleidoscope every Wednesday at Natural Bridge State Park. This weekly program features forest-themed educational activities. 413-663-6392. McCauley Road. North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 4pm – STORYTIME: All ages can enjoy stories and a craft at the Cushman Library‘s weekly story hour. 413-648-5402. 28 Church Street. Bernardston, MA. (FREE)
  • 4pm – CHESS: The East Longmeadow Public Library holds a chess club for kids ages 6-14 every Wednesday afternoon. Come improve your chess skills by playing with peers of all levels. 413-525-5400 x1506. 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. (FREE)
  • 4pm-5pm – STORYTIME/ARTS & CRAFTS: The North Amherst Library is offering a story and craft time for kids every Wednesday afternoon. Come by for stories, crafts, and fun. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 5:30pm-7:30pm – KNITTING: The Cushman Library‘s knitting group runs every Wednesday night. Come hang out with knitters of all ages and share knitting advice. 413-648-5402. 28 Church Street. Bernardston, MA. (FREE)
  • 6pm – KNITTING: Come to the Goodwin Memorial Library every Wednesday evening for knitting group. All levels are welcome, making this is a great chance to share knitting tips and tricks with other knitters of all ages. Runs all year. 413-584-7451. Route 47 & Route 9. Hadley, MA.
  • 6pm-8pm – ARTS & CRAFTS: Knack‘s Work-on-it Wednesdays are back for November and December. There will be open studio every Wednesday and you can come work on some handmade holiday gifts. 413-529-0126. 116 Pleasant Street #126. Easthampton, MA. (>$)
  • 6:30pm – STORYTIME: Pajama storytime for kids ages 3-6 at the East Longmeadow Library. Runs every Wednesday evening. 413-525-5400 x1506. 60 Center Square. East Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)
  • 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 teens and adults. Every Wednesday except the second Wednesday of each month. 99 Main Street. Amherst, MA. $

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Thursday, December 4th, 2014

Schedule your donation today for December 10th!

Thursday, December 4, 9:30am – STEM: Join South Berkshire Kids at CHP in Great Barrington for a STEM program. Everyone is invited to come engage in science, technology, engineering, and math through hands-on activities. 413-464-5095. 444 Old Stockbridge Road. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, December 4, 10:30am-11:30am – MUSIC: Kids ages 2-6 and a caregiver can attend Musical Moments at the East Longmeadow Public Library. Come sing, create, dance, move, and explore at this fun program. 413-525-5400 x1506. 60 Center Square. East Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, December 4, 3:15pm – STEAM: Preschool-aged children can learn to do some creative construction with LEGOs and Duplos at the Leverett Library as part of a series of programs focusing on science, technology, engineering, art, and math. This is a great chance to introduce young kids to STEAM topics! Call to register. 413-548-9220. 75 Montague Road. Leverett, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, December 4, 5pm-8pm – ART WALK: Amherst Art Walk is December 4! Come downtown to tour art galleries and stores, explore the local art scene, and discover great local artists. Art Walks are a great way for people of all ages to experience art in their community. Downtown. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, December 4, 6pm-8pm – DRAWING: Teens who are interested in drawing can attend a drawing class at Gateway City Arts. This figure drawing class is geared towards beginner and intermediate teen artists. Learn how to draw the human figure from instruction and observation of a posed model. This class is a great chance for young artists to improve on their skills and learn new techniques. The class runs every Thursday, and you can enroll at any time. 413-650-2670. 92-114 Race Street. Holyoke, MA. ($$)

Thursday, December 4, 7pm – HISTORY: Professor Jason Sokol will read from and discuss his new book, All Eyes Are Upon Us: Race and Politics from Boston to Brooklyn, at the Odyssey Bookshop on December 4. Professor Sokol will talk about the history of race and racism in the northeast, where there was a celebrated history of racial equality that obscured the region’s segregation in the past. Older students interested in history, politics, and in learning more about race and racism in the northeast can learn from this informative author talk. Email RSVP@odysseybks.com to reserve a spot. 413-534-7307. 9 College Street. South Hadley, MA.

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

Thursday, December 4, 6:30pm-9pm – GALA: Support Berkshire Creative at their annual Sparkle fundraiser. Come to the Ventfort Hall for this exciting evening full of delicious food, drinks, a silent auction, live music, and more – all for a good cause! Please purchase tickets in advance. 413-499-1600 x103. 104 Walker Street. Lenox, MA. ($$$)

Thursday, December 4, 6:30pm-9:30pm – HOLIDAY BASH: Join Easthampton City Arts for the Light Up the Arts Holiday Bash! This annual celebration raises money for ECA+ programs like public art projects, Art Walk events, and cultural festivals. Come to the Old Town Hall for an auction, a small works show, the Creative Contribution Awards, delicious food and drink, and more. Tickets available in advance – tickets are free before December 1. 413-527-8278. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA.

ONGOING FOR THURSDAYS (We are building up our ongoing list for the school year! To add your free ongoing event/activity here, email us at info@hilltownfamilies.org)

  • 9am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Belchertown Family Center is open Tuesday-Friday from 9am-12noon for drop-in activities for infants, preschoolers, and their caregivers. 413-283-7594. 720 Franklin Street. Belchertown, MA. (FREE)
  • 9am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Amherst Family Center is open every Monday through Friday, 9am-12noon. Drop in for playgroups and activities for young children (ages 0-5) and caregivers. 413-256-1145. 1200 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 9am-12midnight – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Amherst College’s Mead Art Museum is open late – until 12midnight – every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday during the College’s academic year. Avoid the crowds and check out the museum’s exhibitions, gift shop, and cafe during these special late hours. 413-542-2335. 41 Quadrangle Drive. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: South Berkshire Kids is offering a weekly playgroup at the Richmond Consolidated School. 413-464-5095. 1831 State Road. Richmond, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Northampton Parents Center will be open Monday-Thursday from 9:30am-11:30am for playgroup, toys, books, activities, and more. Kids ages 5 and under and their caregivers can drop in to meet and play with others. 413-582-2636. 297 Main Street, Lower Level. Northampton, MA.
  • 10am – MOVEMENT: The Millers Falls Library is offering a music and movement group for young children and their caregivers every Thursday through December 18. 413-659-3801. 23 Bridge Street. Millers Falls, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Gateway Family Center is offering a drop-in “Baby Steps” program for infants 0-1 years, as well as their siblings and caregivers. Runs every Thursday. 413-667-2203 x3. 9 Russell Road. Huntington, MA.
  • 10am-11am – PLAYGROUP: Join the Pittsfield CFCE at the Berkshire Athenaeum for a weekly Play and Learn group. 413-499-4809. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA.
  • 10:15am – STORYTIME: The Wilbraham Public Library holds a weekly storytime for ages 2-3 ½ every Wednesday OR Thursday. There will be fun stories and crafts. 413-596-6141. 25 Crane Park Drive. Wilbraham, 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. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – MUSIC: The Jones Library will offer a preschool storytime every Thursday. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, 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.
  • 11am-11:45am – STORYTIME/ARTS & CRAFTS: The Lenox Library is offering Story Craft for kids ages 3-5, with stories and crafts. This program follows the school district schedule. 413-637-0197. 18 Main Street. Lenox, MA. (FREE)
  • 11:15am – STORYTIME: The Wilbraham Public Library holds a weekly storytime for ages 3 ½-5 every Thursday. There will be fun stories and crafts. 413-596-6141. 25 Crane Park Drive. Wilbraham, MA. (FREE)
  • 11:30am-12:30pm – PLAYGROUP: The Family Resource Center is offering a Gym Group for ages walking to 5 every Thursday at the Haskins Center. 413-664-4821. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 1pm-3pm – PLAYGROUP: Babies can have fun and make friends at the Forbes Library‘s weekly baby playgroup. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA.
  • 4pm-8pm – GAMES/LEGOS: Families can have fun every Thursday at Gaylord Memorial Library‘s game and LEGO night! Stop by for board games, puzzles, LEGOs, and more. 413-538-5047. 47 College Street. South Hadley, 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)
  • 5:30pm – SKILLSHARE/CRAFT GROUP: The Haberdashery holds a Chat ‘n Do every Thursday at 5:30pm. Bring a project you are working on and chat with others, hash out ideas, ask advice, offer tips, and more. This is a good opportunity for intergenerational skill sharing! 413-527-1638. 52 Union Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 5:30pm & 6:30pm – KARATE: Free shotokan karate classes are offered every Tuesday and Thursday at Northfield Elementary School. There are two classes – one for 7-10 year olds (5:30pm-6:15pm) and one for teens and adults (6:30pm-7:30pm). More info available here. 802-451-0303. 104 Main Street. Northfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 6pm-8pm – KNITTING: Spruce up your knitting skills and spend time with community members of all ages at the Dickinson Memorial Library‘s knitting group every Thursday evening. All skill levels are welcome. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA. (FREE)

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Friday, December 5th, 2014

Schedule your donation today for December 10th!

Friday, December 5, 10am-12noon – CHILDREN’S BOOKS: It’s Book Week at the Easthampton Family Center! Come by during regular playgroup hours (12/1, 12/2, and 12/5 10am-12noon) and bring children’s books to share or take same home. You don’t need to bring books to take books, and any leftover books will be donated. This is a great chance to give some of your books a new home and to discover new-to-you books! 413-527-5496. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

Friday, December 5, 10:15am – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: The Clark Art Institute is holding a New Parents Gallery Talk. New parents and their infants are welcome to visit the museum for an informal guided talk. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Friday, December 5, 4pm-6:30pm – TREE LIGHTING: Kick off the holiday season with the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce as they light the Merry Maple tonight! There will be hayrides, crafts, a performance by the Amherst Regional Middle School Chorus, the Minuteman Marching Band parade, an appearance by Santa Claus, and more. This is an exciting annual event and a great way to spend time with family and friends of all ages! 413-253-0700. Downtown. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Friday, December 5, 4pm-9pm – COLONIAL CHRISTMAS: Take a step back in time this holiday season at Sturbridge Village, where you can celebrate “Christmas by Candlelight.” This exciting event happens every weekend leading up to Christmas, and features sleigh rides, a recreation of Mrs. Cratchit’s Christmas dinner, a gingerbread house contest, Christmas traditions, carolers, Father Christmas, Santa Claus, a puppet show, music, dancing, and much more. This event allows visitors to experience the Christmas holiday as it was in the past in colonial New England. Tickets can be purchased in advance. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. ($$)

Friday, December 5, 5pm – CHRISTMAS STORIES: The Stockbridge Library, Museum, and Archives presents an evening of Christmas tales at the Taggart House on December 5. Come hear classic Christmas stories and get excited for the holidays. 413-298-5501. 18 Main Street. Stockbridge, MA.

Friday, December 5, 5pm-7pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Have fun with Songs, Shopping, and S’mores at the Clark Art Institute on December 5. All ages can visit the Clark to roast s’mores, see ice carving demonstrations, do some caroling with Williams College a cappella groups, and check out the Museum store for unique gifts for the holidays. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA.

Friday, December 5, 5pm-8:30pm – FAMILY MOVIE: Get into the holiday spirit with a screening of The Polar Express (2004; rated G) at Holyoke High School. Come at 5pm for a buffet dinner, then enjoy hot chocolate, popcorn, and the movie. Come in pajamas for this fun winter event, which raises money for the Upward Bound scholarship fund. See the Hilltown Families Suggest An Event section for more info. 500 Beech Street. Holyoke, MA. (>$)

Friday, December 5, 5pm-11pm – HOLIDAY CELEBRATION: Bright Nights at Forest Park returns this season for holiday fun! Bring the whole family to come see the beautiful holiday light display. More information and a schedule available here. Runs through January 4. Sumner Avenue. Springfield, MA. ($$)

Friday, December 5, 5:30pm-8:30pm – DROP N’ SHOP: The Northampton Recreation Department is holding a “Drop N’ Shop” event – parents, you can drop your kids (grades K-5) off at JFK Middle School for pizza, supervised swimming, arts and crafts, games and more, while you go out to dinner or try to get in some holiday shopping! Cost is $15 per child and registration is required. 413-587-1040. 100 Bridge Road. Florence, MA. ($)

Friday, December 5, 6pm – TREE LIGHTING: The town of Lenox will light their Christmas tree in Lilac Park on December 5! Come with friends and family to celebrate the holidays and meet with Santa. There will be cookies and hot chocolate at the Community Center. Route 7A. Lenox, MA.

Friday, December 5, 6pm – TREE LIGHTING: Pittsfield’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony is tonight at Park Square!  There will be performances by the Berkshire Hills Chorus and the Taconic High School Chorus before and after the ceremony, an appearance by Mr. and Mrs. Claus, free hot chocolate, and more.  Please bring non-perishable food to donate to the Christian Center’s food pantry.  Downtown.  Pittsfield, MA.

Friday, December 5, 7pm – HOLIDAY STROLL: Kick off the holiday season at Easthampton’s Holiday Stroll 2014! Leave from Maple Street School and stroll down Cottage Street to light two trees, then sing your way up Union and Main Street to Pulaski Park, where Santa will arrive to light the park and meet with children. There will be hot chocolate and cookies as well. Get excited for the holiday season at this fun community event! 413-527-9414. Easthampton, MA.

Friday, December 5, 7pm-9pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Learn about the history of I-91 at the Pioneer Valley Institute’s “When the Highway Came Through” program. Freelance writer and poet Barry Dietz will present this talk, which covers everything from the interstate’s initial conception to its completion in 1970. Discover why this highway was built and who it affected most, both negatively and positively. He will also discuss its impacts on businesses and the local economy. Older students interested in the history of the Connecticut River Valley will enjoy this fascinating and informative talk on one of our region’s most notable highways. Takes place in the Sloan Theater on the Greenfield Community College campus. 413-775-1671. 1 College Drive. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, December 5, 7:30pm – THEATER: The Drama Studio presents a production of Alice in Wonderland this December at the Blake Theatre at CityStage. All ages will enjoy this production of the classic story, starring talented young local actors. Tickets available in advance. 413-788-7033. 150 Bridge Street. Springfield, MA. ($$)

Friday, December 5, 7:30pm – ASTRONOMY: Join the Springfield Museums for “Stars Over Springfield,” an introductory astronomy talk and star viewing at the Science Museum’s observatory. The event is recommended for kids 8 and up, but younger children are welcome. If it is cloudy or rainy, a planetarium show will be presented in place of the live star viewing. 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. (>$)

ONGOING FOR FRIDAYS (We are building up our ongoing list for the school year! To add your free ongoing event/activity here, email us at info@hilltownfamilies.org)

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-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Amherst Family Center is open every Monday through Friday, 9am-12noon. Drop in for playgroups and activities for young children (ages 0-5) and caregivers. 413-256-1145. 1200 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am – WRITING: The Edwards Public Library‘s Writing Group meets every Friday. Older students with a passion for writing of any style can attend this supportive intergenerational group. 413-527-9480. 30 East Street. Southampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Northampton Parents’ Center is holding a weekly playgroup in Hadley every Friday at Whole Children. 413-582-2636. 41 Russell Street. Hadley, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11am – PLAYGROUP: The Family Resource Center is offering a Play and Learn Group for ages walking to 5 every Friday at the Adams Youth Center. 413-664-4821. East Street. Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am – PLAYGROUP: The Family Resource Center is offering a Play and Learn Group every Friday at Lanesborough Town Hall. 413-664-4821. 83 North Main Street. Lanesborough, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am & 2pm – GEOLOGY: Learn about the fascinating geology of Natural Bridge State Park at their Marvelous Marble Tour every Friday at 10am & 2pm. Join a park interpreter for an easy walk around the park exploring its geologic history and the remains of the 19th- and 20th-century marble quarry that once operated on the grounds. All ages will enjoy exploring the park and learning some interesting local geology. 413-663-6392. McCauley Road. North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Easthampton Family Center is open every Monday, Tuesday, and Friday for drop-in playgroup and activities for kids ages 5 and under. The Family Center follows the Easthampton Public Schools schedule. 413-527-5496. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA.
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Every Friday is Bounce and Rhyme Storytime at the Monson Free Library! Kids 2 ½ and younger can come enjoy stories, songs, and rhymes. 413-267-3866. 2 High Street. Monson, MA.
  • 10:30am – MOVEMENT: The Chicopee Public Library holds a weekly Music and Movement program for kids ages 5 and under every Friday. Come have fun moving, singing, and dancing. 413-594-1800. 449 Front Street. Chicopee, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-11:30am – STORYTIME: Young kids can attend a weekly storyhour at the Pelham Library every Friday. Come enjoy stories and crafts. 413-253-0657. 2 South Valley Road. Pelham, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am – STORYTIME: Preschoolers can attend storytime every Friday at Griswold Memorial Library. Come for stories, crafts, and a snack. 413-624-3619. 12 Main Road. Colrain, MA. (FREE)
  • 11:30am-1:30pm – PLAYGROUP: Parents/caregivers and their babies, ages 0-15 months, can come to “Welcome Baby” every Friday at the Storrs Library. This program, run by Pathways for Parents, is all about the importance of reading, music, and interactive play. Call to sign up. 413-565-4182. 693 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)
  • 12noon-1pm – CLOTH DIAPERS: Simple Diaper and Linen is offering a Cloth Diaper 101 workshop at Life Works Studio. Come learn the ins and outs of cloth diapering and get information on Simple Diaper and Linen’s new diaper service in Southern Berkshire County. 413-749-6232. 50 Castle Street. Great Barrington, MA.
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Families can attend the “Family Frolic Storytime” every Friday at Gaylord Memorial Library! Enjoy stories, musical plays, and crafts. 413-538-5047. 47 College Street. South Hadley, MA.
  • 11am – STORYTIME: Kids ages 3-6 can come to the Sunderland Public Library for stories, songs, finger plays, and crafts every Friday morning. 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)
  • 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. $
  • 5:30pm-6:30pm – BOOK GROUP: 2nd and 3rd graders who love reading can attend the Hatfield Public Library‘s Kid Book Club every Friday. Kids can hang out together, recommend books to one another, do book-related activities, and enjoy a pizza dinner. 413-247-9097. 39 Main Street. Hatfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 5:30pm-6:30pm – BOOK GROUP: Tweens in grades 4-6 can attend the Hatfield Public Library‘s B-Tween the Lines Book Club every Friday. Kids can hang out together, recommend books to one another, do book-related activities, write reviews, interview authors, and enjoy a pizza dinner. 413-247-9097. 39 Main Street. Hatfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 8pm – ASTRONOMY: The Milham Planetarium at Williams College will be open to the public for a planetarium viewing every Friday through December 5. 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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