Suggested Events for December 6th-12th, 2014

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“As a new parent, Hilltown Families was such a valuable resource! Whether looking for something to do on a Saturday afternoon, looking for an idea for begin a new family tradition marking a holiday, or just connecting with other parents, Hilltown Families kept me connected. Over the years the people I met through the Hilltown Families have remained an active part of our lives! Thanks for all you do!” – Tony Lemos (Ashfield, 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.

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Bulletin Board

Dec 5-31

R{E}volve, a pop-up shop of handmade objects, will be at Eastworks (116 Pleasant St) in Easthampton, Dec 5-31. Highlighting our region’s vibrant creative culture, R{E}volve underscores the economic & community benefits of buying locally.This year, R{E}volve will offer items for kids & adults, clothing & accessories, home goods, furniture, jewelry and fine art, by local artists. Special events include: Opening Reception/Ugly Sweater Party on Dec 5, 5-8pm; Art Walk Easthampton Reception on Dec 13, 5-8pm w/silent auction for artist made Christmas trees & gingerbread cookie decorating to benefit the Easthampton High Art Program. Shop hours are Dec 5-31, Mon- Sat 10am-6pm. Closed Sundays. Special exceptions: Dec 24 & 31, 10am-2pm; closed Dec 25.

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.

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.

Dec 6

Five Little Monkeys Pajama Party with author, illustrator – Eileen Christelow. Saturday, December 6th, 4pm. The Odyssey Bookshop welcomes the legendary author and illustrator, Eileen Christelow, creator of the Five Little Monkeys series for a celebration of the 25th anniversary of Five Little Monkeys Jumping on The Bed! Bring your favorite bedtime stuffed animal and join us for a pajama party with this wonderful author! Freebies, stickers are all in store for you on this Saturday afternoon! FREE and All Ages. Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College Street, South Hadley. 413-534-7307. www.odysseybks.com

Dec 7

Sugar Plum Fairy Tea on Sunday, December 7 at 2:30 at The Clarion Hotel in Northampton. Dust off your shoes and shine your tiara! You and your child will delight in dainty treats, delicate sweets, and a visit from The Sugar Plum Fairy. PVB ballet dancers will share their ballet skills, read a story with you, and present a short performance. This event is a fundraiser for Pioneer Valley Ballet. As a non-profit, PVB relies on the generosity of their community and special events to support their valuable programming like The Nutcracker. Join them at The Clarion Hotel for a very special wintry tea party. Reservations Required: $25 per person, seating at 2:30. www.pioneervalleyballet.tix.com

Dec 12-14

Pioneer Valley Ballet presents its holiday classic, The Nutcracker. Always sweet and always new, follow Clara on her journey through the land of sweets. Featuring Jan Burkhard Catlin and Pablo Javier Perez of Carolina Ballet dancing the roles of The Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier, and local favorites Meghan Mangsen and Christopher Phillips as Clara and The Nutcracker. Performs December 12-14 at the Academy of Music in Northampton. Tickets and info: www.pioneervalleyballet.org. PVB also welcomes tiny princes and ballerinas to join them at their second annual Sugar Plum Fairy Tea on December 7 at the Clarion Hotel. Advanced reservations required. 413-527-6363.

Dec 12-14

Welcome Yule: A Midwinter Celebration. 30th annual show celebrates the return of light with a delightful family show filled with music, dance, song, story and customs to drive the dark away. This year’s show centers on the younger people in an imaginary English village. Fri. Dec. 12th and Sat. 13th at 7:30pm.; Sun. Dec. 14th at 2pm. The Shea Theater, 71 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA.Tickets: adults $12, seniors and children $10 (four and under free), family of five $40. Reserve tickets at 413-863-2281 or purchase in advance at Jones Library, Amherst; River Valley Market, Northampton; World Eye Bookstore, Greenfield; Basically Bicycles, Turners Falls; online at Brattleborotix.com. More information: www.welcomeyule.org or 413-665-3206.

Dec 13

This holiday season, experience the beloved story of The Nutcracker told through Celtic Dance. A Celtic Nutcracker will beautifully blend the Tchaikovsky score with Celtic music and original choreography by the Celtic Heels Dance Company Director, Cara Leach. Bring your family to either the matinee performance at 2pm or the evening performance at 7pm on Saturday, December 13th at Bowker Auditorium, UMass, in Amherst. Featuring the Celtic Heels Irish Dance Company and live music by the Celtic Music Academy of MA this is sure to become a family tradition for anyone who loves The Nutcracker or Celtic Dance! Tickets are $11-$20 and are available at www.ACelticNutcracker.com

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.

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LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
December 6th-12th, 2014

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Events Happening in the Hilltowns

Saturday, December 6th, 2014

Schedule your donation today for December 10th!

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. Tito Uquillas of the band, The Hipwaders, takes us on a musical tour of the San Francisco Bay Area kids & family musical acts. 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, December 6, TBA – LOCAL HISTORY: Join the Mill River Greenway Initiative for a “Riverwalk” in Haydenville and Williamsburg. Walk from Brassworks in Haydenville to Skinnerville in Williamsburg and discover the history of Haydenville, Williamsburg, and the Mill River. This walk would be best for older students interested in local history. Pre-registration required – email info@millrivergreenway.org to register; space is limited. Haydenville, MA.

Saturday, December 6, 8:30am & 10:30am – BREAKFAST WITH SANTA: Join the Westfield State University community for breakfast with Santa in Scanlon Banquet Hall. Admission to the meal includes breakfast, face painting, a gift for each child, and entertainment by the Melha clowns. A great way for families to spend time together with other community members. Tickets available here. 413-572-5218. 577 Western Avenue. Westfield, MA. ($)

Saturday, December 6, 9am-12noon – TRAIL WORK: Help Williamsburg Woodland Trails and Mass Audubon remove invasive bittersweet vines at Graves Farm Sanctuary on December 6. Older teens can help out with this important work, which will teach them the importance of both volunteer work and conservation. Dress warmly and bring tools if you can. 413-584-3009 x811. Adams Road. Haydenville, MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Saturday, December 6, 9am-2pm – SKI SALE: Find new and used winter clothing and sports equipment for the whole family at the Northampton Lions Club’s 54th Annual Ski and Skate Sale at Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School. This is a great place to find all your winter sport necessities, and proceeds go towards scholarships for two Smith Vocational seniors and will help fund other Lions charities. Donations will be accepted December 5 from 6pm-8pm. 80 Locust Street. Northampton, MA. (SALE)

Saturday, December 6, 9am-3pm – BABYSITTING CERTIFICATION: The Children’s Study Home is offering a free American Red Cross Babysitting Certification Course for kids ages 11-15. Here kids can get the information they need to babysit safely and confidently, including how to handle emergencies, important childcare skills, and kid-friendly games. In order to become certified, you must attend both parts of this two-part class (12/6 and 12/13, 9am-3pm). Please register in advance. 413-739-5626 x202. 44 Sherman Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 6, 9:30am & 11am – BREAKFAST WITH SANTA: Come have breakfast with Santa at the Garden House at Look Park! The whole family will love this delicious breakfast buffet and enjoy having the opportunity to hang out with Santa. Reservations requested. 413-584-5457. 300 North Main Street. Florence, MA. ($)

Saturday, December 6, 9:30am-4:30pm – HISTORY: Celebrate the holidays with Historic Deerfield this December. See an open hearth cooking demonstration about sugar and spice, make gifts for the holidays, decorate gingerbread cookies, and go on a horse-drawn wagon ride. December 6 is also Heritage Baking Day, where you can learn about baking recipes from the past. Historic Deerfield’s Heritage Holiday activities are a great way to experience what the holiday season was like in the past in New England. 413-774-5581. 84B Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA. ($)

Saturday, December 6, 10am-11:15am – ARTS & CRAFTS: Aimee Gelinas of Tamarack Hollow Nature and Cultural Center is teaching a winter craft activity at the Berkshire Museum on December 6. She will teach you how to make simple crafts like balsam balm and evergreen sachets. Participants can make their own using materials gathered at Tamarack Hollow. Space is limited. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($)

Saturday, December 6, 10am-11:30am – HOLIDAY CARDS/ARTS & CRAFTS: Make your own holiday cards this season at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art! Ages 3 and up can visit the Art Studio to make six special cards, complete with envelopes. This is a great chance to get creative and give family and friends handmade cards that they will cherish. Space is limited; call to sign up. Cost is per pair/trio. 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. ($)

Saturday, December 6, 10am-12noon – SANTA: Join Atkins Farms Country Market for horse drawn wagon rides with Santa on December 6. Bring a camera and take photos with Santa, and decorate gingerbread cookies (10am-1pm; >$) in the bakery. Wagon rides are free with non-perishable food donation to Amherst Survival Center. 413-253-9528. Bay Road & Route 116. South Amherst, MA. (>$)

Saturday, December 6, 10am-12noon – SANTA: Get your photo taken with Santa and Mrs. Claus at Heritage Woods Assisted Living. There will be treats and activities for kids, and this is a good way for community members young and old to meet one another and spend time together spreading holiday cheer. 413-786-9704. 462 Main Street. Agawam, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 6, 10am-12noon: LITERACY: With reluctant readers, theater can help bring Reading Alive! This Saturday at the Holyoke Public Library, Enchanted Circle Theater will present an interactive literacy workshop for children ages 7-11 and their families. Designed to engage students and family audiences in dramatic readings and expressive arts activities, actors from ECT will make words jump off the page and stories come to life! 413-420-8105. 250 Chestnut Street. Holyoke, MA (FREE)

Saturday, December 6, 10am-2pm – HOLIDAYFAIR: The Center School’s annual Crafty Rumpus and Yggdrasil takes place today! Nature art and crafting projects plus an interactive, enchanted indoor forest! There will be food, a drumming circle, and a bonfire too. 413-773-1700. 71 Montague City Road (FREE)

Saturday, December 6, 10am-2pm – BOOK SALE: Find great used books, CDs, DVDs, audio books, VHS tapes, and more at the Carnegie Library’s Book Sale on December 6. Proceeds benefit the Friends of the Montague Public Libraries. 413-863-3214. 201 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA.

Saturday, December 6, 10am-3pm – WINTER FAIR: The Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School is hosting a family book and craft fair at their new location in Easthampton. Kids and their parents will have the opportunity to do make their own crafts to gift for the holidays, and to look for books to gift or put on their wish list at the Scholastic book fair. This event offers an opportunity to make unique, one-of-a-kind, handmade gifts for the holidays, while spending time with community members, family, and friends. 413-529-7178. 1 Industrial Parkway. Easthampton, MA.

Saturday, December 6, 10am-4pm – CRAFT MARKET: The Sheffield Historical Society’s annual Festival of Holidays craft market kicks off November 8 in the Old Stone Store! Come find handcrafted items made by local artisans and get started on your holiday shopping. Proceeds benefit the Historical Society. The sale runs every Saturday and Sunday through December 21. 413-229-2694. 137 Main Street. Sheffield, MA. (SALE/FUNDRAISER)

Saturday, December 6, 10am-5pm – HOLIDAY FAIR: Shop local and handmade this holiday season at the Alchemy Initiative‘s Handmade Holiday Festival at Berkshire Community College’s Paterson Field House. Here you can find gifts for everyone on your list – the fair includes children’s goods, home goods, jewelry, accessories, fiber arts, ceramics, farm and food products, wellness products, fine art, photography, and paper goods. This annual fair is a great way to support local artists, artisans, and businesses this holiday season. 1350 West Street. Pittsfield, MA. (MARKET)

Saturday, December 6, 10:30am – PUPPET SHOW/CULINARY ARTS: Join Miss Wendy at the S. White Dickinson Memorial Library for a gingerbread man puppet show! There will also be stories and songs about other cookies. Kids will also have the opportunity to decorate their own cookies to take home. 413-665-2170. 202 Chestnut Plain Road. Whately, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 6, 10:30am – BOOK GROUP: Kindergarteners and first graders who love reading can attend the Hatfield Public Library‘s Little Kid Book Club on October 18, November 8, and December 6. Parents/caregivers and their child can attend the book club and enjoy books together. 413-247-9097. 39 Main Street. Hatfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 6, 11am – CHILDREN’S PERFORMANCE: Spectrum Playhouse presents “Pirates” by Nutshell Playhouse. This performance for all ages is all about pirates and features puppets, music, masks, mimes, and more. 413-394-5023. 20 Franklin Street. Lee, MA. (FREE/SUGGESTED DONATION >$)

Saturday, December 6, 11am – STEAM: Preschool-aged children can learn about math and counting at the Wendell Free 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. 978-544-3559. 7 Wendell Depot Road. Wendell, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 6, 11am & 1pm – HOLIDAY CONCERT: Celebrate the holidays with Mister G at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art! Mister G will perform songs from all his albums, which include a variety of genres – bluegrass, bossa nova, funk, folk, and more. Kids of all ages will love this fun concert! 413-658-1126. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. ($)

Saturday, December 6, 11am, 1pm, & 2pm – CHRISTMAS/HISTORY: Learn about the Christmas traditions of Emily Dickinson’s family at the Emily Dickinson Museum’s Dickensian Christmas with the Dickinsons event. Explore the Homestead and the Evergreens and see traditional decorations, hear seasonal music, and see new objects on exhibit. At the end of the tour, hear Tony Abbott read from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Visitors will also receive a holiday token for attending this special tour. Reservations are recommended. 413-542-8161. 280 Main Street. Amherst, MA. ($$)

Saturday, December 6, 11am-11:30am – HOLIDAY STORYTIME: As part of the Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas event, the Stockbridge Library is hosting a children’s holiday storytime at their train station location. Kids can come hear favorite holiday stories! 413-298-5501. 2 Depot Street. Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)

Schedule your donation today for December 10th!

Saturday, December 6, 11am-3pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Discover Westfield’s rich history at a joint open house as part of the Dickens Days festivities. Tour the Dewey House (87 South Maple Street) and the Edwin Smith Historical Museum (6 Elm Street) and learn about Westfield’s history. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 6, 11am-4pm – YULETIDE: Celebrate the holidays at Storrowton Village’s Yuletide! This winter festival brings the community together with traditional Yuletide activities, shopping, and entertainment. There will be traditional music, storytelling, craft demonstrations, ice sculpting, a Sweet Shoppe, kids’ crafts, Santa, and more. 413-205-5051. 1305 Memorial Avenue. West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 6, 11am-4pm – HOLIDAY STROLL: Explore some of Stockbridge’s historic homes and properties as part of Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas on this Holiday House Tour. The self-guided tour will take you to Undermountain Mansion, Ventfort Hall Mansion, the Ripley House, Elm Court Estate, October Mountain Farm, and Cherry Cottage. Discover local history and learn about the Stockbridge of the past on this tour. Tickets can be purchased in advance through the Chamber of Commerce or on the day of at the Red Lion Inn. Stockbridge, MA. ($$)

Saturday, December 6, 1pm & 6pm – THEATER: The Young Shakespeare Players present a production of Twelfth Night at the Shea Theater. Young actors ages 7-18 will perform this Shakespeare comedy, which deals with themes such as loss, love, gender, empathy, and bullying, all of which are relevant in today’s society. All ages are welcome to attend this performance. The performance has an intermission with delicious snacks, proceeds from which benefit the YSP Scholarship Fund. 802-258-7922. 71 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 6, 1pm-4pm – SURVIVAL SKILLS: Have you ever wanted to learn how to make fire? Join Frank Grindrod of Earthwork Programs for a WinterFire workshop in Conway. At this workshop, you will learn the basics of wilderness survival and fire starting. Children can attend with adults. Call to register and to find out location. 413-340-1161. Conway, MA. ($$$)

Saturday, December 6, 1pm-4pm – LEGOS: Have fun with LEGOs at “Santa’s Workshop” at the Center Church on December 6. 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 website for more information and to register. 413-345-8035. 1 Church Street. South Hadley, MA. ($$)

Saturday, December 6, 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, December 6, 2pm-3pm – CRAFTS: The Sunderland Public Library‘s Junior Teen Advisory Board (made up of 5-8th graders) will lead a special winter craft workshop for kids in grades 1-4. Come learn how to make fleece scarves from older students at the library at this fun workshop. Please register. 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 6, 2pm-4pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Historic Northampton will be holding an open house on December 6. Come hear about what’s happening at Historic Northampton and preview two new exhibits – “Tools for Learning: Children’s Toys, Clothing, and Furniture from the Historic Northampton Collection” and “The Florence Brush Factory: Artifacts from the Pro Brush Company Collection, 1854-1945.” Visitors can also view the current exhibition, “Splendor and Sorrow: Glimpses of World War I.” Older students interested in history can learn about Historic Northampton and what it does at this open house. 413-584-6011. 46 Bridge Street. Northampton, MA.

Saturday, December 6, 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, December 6, 3pm-5pm – CHRISTMAS COOKIES/MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Have fun decorating cookies with Santa at the Norman Rockwell Museum on December 6. Santa will be at the museum to help visitors decorate cookies, and there will also be holiday music and gallery talks about Norman Rockwell’s holiday art. Free with museum admission. 413-298-4100. 9 Route 183. Stockbridge, MA. ($$)

Saturday, December 6, 3pm-5:30pm – HOLIDAY STROLL: Williamstown’s 31st Annual Holiday Walk includes fun activities for the whole family! The Walk kicks off with the Reindog Parade, where Williamstown’s cutest dogs stroll down Spring Street in their holiday best. You can then go see Santa, a holiday bake-off at The Log, do some cookie decorating, see the tree lighting, and more. There will also be live music throughout the day, a toy drive, caroling, and more. A full schedule and list of events can be found here. Spring Street. Williamstown, MA.

Saturday, December 6, 3:30pm-5pm – CHRISTMAS CAROLS: Enjoy Christmas carols and holiday cheer at Williamsburg’s Caroling on the Green, outside Florence Savings Bank. Come for carols, cocoa, and horse-drawn wagon rides. A great way to celebrate the holidays with your community! Main Street. Williamsburg, MA.

Saturday, December 6, 4pm – CHILDREN’S BOOKS: Celebrate the 25th anniversary of Eileen Christelow’s book, Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed, at Odyssey Bookshop on December 6! Kids can bring a favorite stuffed animal and come in pajamas for this fun party, which features freebies, stickers, and more. Fans of the book will love this fun event. Call to RSVP. 413-534-7307. 9 College Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 6, 4pm – CHORAL MUSIC: The annual Christmas Service of Lessons and Carols at Williams College takes place this weekend in the Thompson Memorial Chapel. Choral music will be performed by the Williams Concert and Chamber Choirs, and there will also be congregational singing of carols. In addition to music, this program features a reading of the traditional “lessons” derived from the Biblical Christmas story. Please bring non-perishable food to donate to local food pantries. 413-597-4277. Route 2. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 6, 4pm & 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. ($$)

Saturday, December 6, 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. ($$)

Saturday, December 6, 4:15pm – TREE LIGHTING: Kick off the holiday season in Northampton at the Holiday Tree Lighting in Pulaski Park. Mrs. Claus will lead the singing, and Santa will arrive on a Northampton Fire Truck. There will also be choral music, cookies, and hot chocolate. Main Street. Northampton, MA (FREE) (Postponed: Dec 13.)

Saturday, December 6, 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, December 6, 5:30pm-6:30pm – PUPPETRY/MUSIC: Join Anna Sobel of Talking Hands Theatre at Lander Grinspoon Academy for a CD release party for Animal Torah. Sobel will perform a puppet show based on three Jewish stories from the CD, and there will be live klezmer music, as well as an opportunity for kids to make their own puppets. This CD release party/Jewish storytelling event is fun for all ages and all faiths. 257 Prospect Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 6, 6pm – SANTA/COMMUNITY MEAL: Enjoy dinner with Santa at St. Mary’s School on December 6! There will be delicious food, face painting, elves, carolers, pictures with Santa, and more. Call for tickets. 413-243-1079. Orchard Street. Lee, MA. ($$)

Saturday, December 6, 6pm-7pm – CAROLING: Participate in the Caroling Luminaria Walk as part of the Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas festivities. Meet in front of the Red Lion Inn with your flashlight or candle, sing carols, and walk to the First Congregational Church with luminarias. Main Street. Stockbridge, MA.

Saturday, December 6, 6:30pm-8:30pm – DANCE/SOCIAL: Whole Children is hosting their annual winter semi-formal dance party on December 6. Dress in your winter best and head to the Inclusive Community Center for a fun dance party open to all! If dancing and music aren’t your things, head to the back room for board games and quieter fun. Please bring a nut-free snack to share. This party is a fun way to celebrate winter with friends and community members! Call to RSVP. 413-585-8010. 41 Russell Street. Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 6, 7:30pm – CHORAL MUSIC: Celebrate the holidays at the First Congregational Church in Stockbridge at the Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas Holiday Concert. There will be performances by the Berkshire Lyric Chorus, the Blafield Children’s Chorus, and others. Main Street. Stockbridge, MA. ($$)

Saturday, December 6, 7:30pm – THEATER: Westfield Theatre Group presents a production of A Christmas Carol this December at the Westfield Woman’s Club. Come see this Charles Dickens classic and get into the holiday spirit. Reservations available. 413-572-6838. 28 Court Street. Westfield, MA. ($$)

Saturday, December 6, 7:30pm – CHORAL MUSIC: The Springfield Symphony Orchestra presents Home for the Follidays, a festive family concert featuring performances by Jeans ‘n Classics Vocalists and the Springfield Symphony Chorus. They will perform traditional and classic holiday music, including carols, fun Christmas songs, Hanukkah songs, winter-themed songs, and more. There will also be a silent auction. Tickets available in advance. 413-773-2291. 34 Court Street. Springfield, MA. ($$)

Saturday, December 6, 7:30pm – FILM/MUSIC STUDIES: Pothole Pictures is screening A Hard Day’s Night (1964) on December 6. Older students can come see this film about a typical day in the life of The Beatles. Daniel Hales and the Frost Heaves will perform Beatles music before the screening, starting at 7pm. 413-625-2896. 50 Bridge Street. Shelburne Falls, MA. (>$)

Saturday, December 6, 7:30pm – THEATER: Shakespeare and Company presents a special production of It’s a Wonderful Life – a live radio play! The performance is a funny and unique play-within-a-play that tells the classic Christmas Eve tale of It’s a Wonderful Life, complete with live radio commercials, sound effects, and more. This unique performance is a fun way to celebrate Christmas! Runs every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through December 28. 413-637-3353. 70 Kemble Street. Lenox, MA. ($$-$$$)

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Sunday, December 7th, 2014

Schedule your donation today for December 10th!

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, December 7, 9:30am-4:30pm – HISTORY: Celebrate the holidays with Historic Deerfield this December. See an open hearth cooking demonstration about sugar and spice, make gifts for the holidays, decorate gingerbread cookies, and go on a horse-drawn wagon ride. Historic Deerfield’s Heritage Holiday activities are a great way to experience what the holiday season was like in the past in New England. 413-774-5581. 84B Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA. ($)

Sunday, December 7, 10am – BASKETBALL: The Basketball Hall of Fame’s Holiday Showcase basketball game is December 7 at the MassMutual Center (1277 Main Street). Come see the UMass Minutemen face off against the Florida Gulf Coast University men’s basketball team. The game starts at 2pm, but head to the Basketball Hall of Fame (1000 Hall Fame Avenue) beforehand for the tailgate party, which includes performances by the UMass Band and cheerleaders, Sam the Minuteman, a chance to explore the Hall of Fame, and more. Basketball fans will love this whole event! 413-787-6610. Springfield, MA. ($$-$$$)

Sunday, December 7, 10am-11:30am – HANUKKAH CRAFTS: Kids ages 3-5 can do some hands-on crafts at Lander-Grinspoon Academy. Make Hanukkah decorations for your home or to gift to others at this fun event, which allows gets to get creative. 413-586-7550. 257 Prospect Street. Northampton, MA.

Sunday, December 7, 10am-3pm – HOLIDAY FAIR: Buy handmade gifts for the holidays at the S. White Dickinson Memorial Library‘s Handmade Holiday Fair! Vendors will be selling pottery, handbags, wood and felt toys, quilted items, glass, honey, maple syrup, cards, wreaths, ornaments, baked goods, and more. There will also be a raffle for prizes. Don’t miss this chance to find beautiful handmade holiday gifts! 413-665-2170. 202 Chestnut Plain Road. Whately, MA.

Sunday, December 7, 10am-3pm – HOLIDAY FAIR: Shop local and handmade this holiday season at the Alchemy Initiative‘s Handmade Holiday Festival at Berkshire Community College’s Paterson Field House. Here you can find gifts for everyone on your list – the fair includes children’s goods, home goods, jewelry, accessories, fiber arts, ceramics, farm and food products, wellness products, fine art, photography, and paper goods. This annual fair is a great way to support local artists, artisans, and businesses this holiday season. 1350 West Street. Pittsfield, MA. (MARKET)

Sunday, December 7, 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, December 7, 11am-4pm – YULETIDE: Celebrate the holidays at Storrowton Village’s Yuletide! This winter festival brings the community together with traditional Yuletide activities, shopping, and entertainment. There will be traditional music, storytelling, craft demonstrations, ice sculpting, a Sweet Shoppe, kids’ crafts, Santa, and more. 413-205-5051. 1305 Memorial Avenue. West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, December 7, 12noon-2pm – HOLIDAY STROLL: The Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas Recreation is December 7. Stroll down Main Street and see it as it was when Norman Rockwell painted his famous painting “Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas.” Antique cars will be parked along the street, and there will be music, carols, Christmas food, Roger the Jester, kids’ activities, and visits with Santa. This holiday event allows you to get an idea of what Stockbridge was like in the past, while celebrating the present-day town and the upcoming holidays. Main Street. Stockbridge, MA. (>$)

Sunday, December 7, 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, December 7, 1pm – LOCAL HISTORY/ARCHITECTURE: The Longmeadow Historical Society is offering an architectural walking tour around the Longmeadow Town Green and along Longmeadow Street. Start at the First Church of Christ and then walk to the Old Parsonage, the Old Red House, the Jonathan Hale House, the Stephen Hale House, the Bliss/Keep House, the Downing House, and the Daniel Colton House. Each of these homes was built in the 18th or 19th Century, and each displays a unique architectural style that is characteristic to New England in that time period. Older students interested in local history and historic homes can learn from this engaging walking tour. 413-567-3600. 763 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, December 7, 1pm & 6pm – THEATER: The Young Shakespeare Players present a production of Twelfth Night at the Shea Theater. Young actors ages 7-18 will perform this Shakespeare comedy, which deals with themes such as loss, love, gender, empathy, and bullying, all of which are relevant in today’s society. All ages are welcome to attend this performance. The performance has an intermission with delicious snacks, proceeds from which benefit the YSP Scholarship Fund. 802-258-7922. 71 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, December 7, 1pm-2pm – ART/COOKIES: Kids can join Whole Foods Market and Kidz B Kidz for a fun art party. Kids can come draw a holiday picture, which Kidz B Kidz will then print onto a cookie to take home. This is a super unique art project that kids will love! Kidz B Kidz is a non-profit that helps fund pediatric research. 413-586-9932. 327 Russell Street. Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, December 7, 1pm-3pm – HANUKKAH/DIY: Build your own menorah for Hanukkah this year at Home Depot in West Springfield with Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy. This is a great chance for kids to do a hands-on project, and there will also be Home Depot aprons for participants, music, and fresh donuts. Make a menorah to use at your own Hanukkah ceremony or to gift to others at this fun and educational hands-on event. 413-567-8665. 179 Daggett Drive. West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, December 7, 1pm-3:30pm – HISTORY: See the Keep Homestead Museum decorated for the holidays and learn about life in the past, especially during the holiday season. Tour the house and see items collected by the Keep family, including furniture, silver and cut glass, rock collections, quilts, a button collection, and more. This is a great chance for families to learn about life in the past in western Massachusetts. 413-267-4137. 35 Ely Road. Monson, MA. (FREE/DONATIONS ACCEPTED)

Sunday, December 7, 2pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Join the Windsor Historical Commission for the dedication of the town flag and an accompanying celebration. Senator Ben Downing and Representative Paul Mark will be in attendance to accept the flag, which will hang in the Great Hall in the Massachusetts State House. A flag will also be hung in the Windsor Town Hall. Route 9. Windsor, MA.

Schedule your donation today for December 10th!

Sunday, December 7, 2pm – THEATER: Shakespeare and Company presents a special production of It’s a Wonderful Life – a live radio play! The performance is a funny and unique play-within-a-play that tells the classic Christmas Eve tale of It’s a Wonderful Life, complete with live radio commercials, sound effects, and more. This unique performance is a fun way to celebrate Christmas! Runs every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through December 28. 413-637-3353. 70 Kemble Street. Lenox, MA. ($$-$$$)

Sunday, December 7, 2pm – FILM STUDIES: Amherst Cinema is screening the classic film Fiddler On the Roof (1971; rated G), based on the Broadway musical of the same name. The film is about a father who tries to maintain his family and Jewish traditions while outside influences encroach on their lives. Students who enjoy theater and film will enjoy this screening. 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. ($)

Sunday, December 7, 2pm-3:30pm – HOLIDAY TEA: Get in the holiday spirit at the Wistariahurst Museum’s Holiday Tea. Sip tea in Belle’s Music Room and enjoy the sounds of grand piano music, played by David Stukus. Come with family and friends to enjoy this traditional holiday tea, and see the mansion in its festive holiday decor. There will be tea, sweets, and choral music as well. The shop will also be open to find some unique holiday gifts. Space is limited; make reservations by December 1. 413-332-5660. 328 Cabot Street. Holyoke, MA. ($$)

Sunday, December 7, 2pm-4pm – SKILLSHARE: Learn about winter health remedies at Grow Food Amherst‘s Sustainability Sunday workshop at All Things Local Cooperative Market. Brittany Nickerson of Thyme Herbal will teach you how to make your own winter health remedies. Families can come together and learn how to stay healthy this winter using natural home remedies. 413-259-3149. 104 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (>$)

Sunday, December 7, 2:30pm – ICE SKATING: MAPFRE Insurance presents a Holiday Skating Party at the Mullins Center! In addition to ice skating, there will be cookie decorating, snowflake crafts, yard games, ticket giveaways, on-ice activities, holiday-themed food items, and more. Cost includes skate rental. Tickets available in advance. 413-545-3373. 200 Commonwealth Avenue. Amherst, MA. ($$)

Sunday, December 7, 2:30pm – BALLET/TEA PARTY: Celebrate The Nutcracker with Pioneer Valley Ballet at the Sugar Plum Fairy Tea at the Clarion Hotel in Northampton. This fundraiser is great for kids and adults, who can enjoy sweets and treats, crafts, a mini performance by PVB dancers, and a visit from the Sugar Plum Fairy. Proceeds benefit Pioneer Valley Ballet programming. Tickets can be reserved in advance. 413-584-9032. 1 Atwood Drive. Northampton, MA. ($$)

Sunday, December 7, 3pm – 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. ($$)

Sunday, December 7, 3pm-5pm – AUTHOR TALK: Local authors/illustrators Mordicai Gerstein and Susan Yard Harris will present “Working Together, Working Apart” at the Westhampton Public Library. The couple will discuss their artistic/writing collaborations, as well as their individual artistic careers. The gallery talk will be at 4pm, and the opening reception for the gallery show of their work is from 3pm-5pm. Anyone interested in children’s books and illustration will enjoy this exhibition and talk. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, December 7, 4pm – CHORAL MUSIC: The annual Christmas Service of Lessons and Carols at Williams College takes place this weekend in the Thompson Memorial Chapel. Choral music will be performed by the Williams Concert and Chamber Choirs, and there will also be congregational singing of carols. In addition to music, this program features a reading of the traditional “lessons” derived from the Biblical Christmas story. Please bring non-perishable food to donate to local food pantries. 413-597-4277. Route 2. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, December 7, 4pm – PERFORMANCE: The UMass Fine Arts Center presents a performance by Mummenschanz. This performance takes common materials and everyday objects, such as toilet paper, and brings them to life to offer timeless insight on the human condition. Family members of all ages will enjoy this fun performance, and can attend a Family Fest celebration in the lobby beforehand at 3pm. Takes place in the Fine Arts Center Concert Hall. 413-545-2511. 151 Presidents Drive. Amherst, MA. ($$)

Sunday, December 7, 4pm & 7:30pm – CHORAL MUSIC: Two Christmas Vespers concerts—a beloved Mount Holyoke College tradition—will be presented in Abbey Chapel. The event will begin, as it has for decades, with a traditional Gregorian chant as the College’s Glee Club processes through the chapel by candlelight. The program will include many different seasonal choral works. Mount Holyoke Vespers dates back to the late 1800s, and has long been a popular event in the Pioneer Valley and beyond. 413-538-2809. Mount Holyoke College. 50 College Street South. South Hadley, MA

Sunday, December 7, 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. ($$)

Sunday, December 7, 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. ($$)

Sunday, December 7, 6pm – TREE LIGHTING: Santa will arrive by fire engine to help with Lenox Dale’s Annual Christmas Tree Lighting at Veterans Memorial Park on December 7! Kids will have a chance to meet Santa and pose for photos at the Fire Station (Elm Street), where gifts and refreshments will be distributed. This fun community holiday event is sponsored by the Lenox Dale Fire Company. 413-637-5542. Walker Street & Crystal Street. Lenox Dale, MA.

Sunday, December 7, 7pm – CHRISTMAS MUSIC: As part of Westfield’s Dickens Days, the Fanfare Brass Choir will lead a Christmas Sing-a-Long at the Episcopal Church of Atonement. Come by to hear and sing along to classic Christmas songs! 413-562-2277. 35 Court Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

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Monday, December 8th, 2014

Schedule your donation today for December 10th!

Monday, December 8, 3:30pm-5pm – CULINARY ARTS: Kids can learn cooking skills and recipes at Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy’s Cooking with Parents and Grandparents event – “Cooking with Color.” Learn how to make things like flower pot cake, stuffed potatoes, hot cocoa, bean salad, ants on a log, and more. There will also be craft activities. Email info@lya.org to RSVP. 413-567-8665. 1148 Converse Street. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

Monday, December 8, 4:30pm-6:30pm – CULINARY ARTS: Pioneer Valley Bread House is holding a bread-baking event that’s open to everyone! Come learn about the art and symbolism of decorating breads and share, learn, and create with community members. Baking bread is a fun and useful skill and this is a perfect event to help you get started! Takes place at Five College Women’s Studies Research Center. 83 College Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, December 8, 6:30pm-8pm – CULINARY ARTS: What’s the differences between Cheddar, Gouda, Provolone, Feta and Parmesan cheese? Older teens and adults can learn about the different varieties of importated and local cheeses and how to pair them atWhole Foods Market in Hadley. Stop by the customer service desk to sign up. 413-586-9932. 327 Russell Street. Hadley, MA. ($)

Monday, December 8, 6pm – BIOLOGY/CHEMISTRY: Come to Amherst Brewing Company for this month’s Sci.Tech.Café! The topic this month is “Curing Diseases with Code: Molecular Simulations in Drug Discovery.” Professor Woody Sherman will present on drug design, pharmaceuticals, and biotechnology. Those interested in biology and chemistry will enjoy this talk, which is designed for community members without science backgrounds. 10 University Drive. Amherst, MA.

Monday, December 8, 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. Luke Remage-Healey, who will present, “Bird Brain: The Science of Learning Songs.” 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, December 8, 7pm – DANCE STUDIES: See the world-renowned Russian ballet company Bolshoi Ballet perform La Bayadere on the big screen at Amherst Cinema. The performance was filmed live and will be screened at the Cinema for dance lovers of all ages. Tickets available in advance. 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. ($$)

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: Parents/caregivers and young children can attend a gym fun group at West Stockbridge Town Hall, held by South Berkshire Kids. This playgroup focuses on social and physical play and meets every Monday through July 2015. 413-464-5095. 21 State Line Road. West Stockbridge, 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)
  • 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)
  • 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-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 9th, 2014

Schedule your donation today for December 10th!

Tuesday, December 9, 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 9, 9:30am-11am – PARENT GROUP: The Agawam Family and Community Program is offering a Mom2Mom group on December 9. Come meet and discuss parenting with other moms. Childcare is available. 413-821-0597. 108 Perry Lane. Agawam, MA.

Tuesday, December 9, 4pm-5pm – BOOK CLUB: Join the South Hadley Public Library for their first-ever Chat and Chew book discussion group! Middle schoolers (grades 5-8) can come discuss Mango Shaped Space by Wendy Mass – this is a great chance for kids to do outside-of-school reading and learn how to discuss books with their peers. 413-538-5045. 2 Canal Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, December 9, 6pm-8pm – DRAWING/PAINTING: Teens and tweens ages 11-18 who are interested in art can attend a drawing/painting class at Gateway City Arts. This class, which focuses on drawing and painting, is geared towards beginners. Learn how to draw and paint using a variety of techniques, including pen and ink, charcoal, watercolor, and more. This class is a great chance for young artists to improve on their skills and learn new techniques. The class runs every Tuesday, and you can enroll at any time. 413-650-2670. 92-114 Race Street. Holyoke, MA. ($$)

Tuesday, December 9, 7pm – PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: Enjoy a Christmas comedy show at Eastworks – Surly Santa, starring Seth Lepore of The Seth Show. This satirical show features special guests and each show is different and based on audience suggestions. See here for more info. 116 Pleasant Street. Easthampton, MA. (>$)

Tuesday, December 9, 8pm – MUSIC STUDIES: The Mt. Holyoke College Music Department presents a performance by the Five College West African Drum Ensembles. Students can learn about West African traditions and music at this engaging concert. Takes place in McCulloch Auditorium. 413-538-2306. Lower Lake Road. South Hadley, MA.

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-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Parents/caregivers and young children can attend a weekly playgroup every Tuesday through June 2015 at Otis Town Hall, held by South Berkshire Kids. 413-464-5095. 1 North Main Road. Otis, 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 – LIBRARY 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 10th, 2014

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Wednesday, December 10, TBA – MUSIC: Attend a free sample class by Music Together for Valley Families on December 10 at the Greater Holyoke YMCA. 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. 171 Pine Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, December 10, 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 10, 1:30pm – STEAM: Preschool-aged children can learn about water at the Shutesbury Town Hall 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. 413-259-1213. Shutesbury, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, December 10, 3:30pm-4:30pm – HOLIDAY CRAFTS: Kids can stop by the Forbes Library children’s department to make a cool gift for the holidays. Make some unique greeting cards or ornaments that you can gift to others this holiday season. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, December 10, 4pm-8pm – SANTA: Celebrate the holidays this year at Look Park on Santa’s Train! The Garden House is transformed into a Victorian style train station and you can see holiday trees, meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, have cookies and hot cocoa, and ride the Look Park Holiday Express! Family members of all ages will enjoy this fun holiday activity, which runs every day until Christmas Eve. 413-584-5457. 300 North Main Street. Florence, MA. (>$)

Wednesday, December 10, 6pm – TEA PARTY: Kids ages 5 and up can bring their favorite doll to a Holiday Tea Party at the Chicopee Public Library. There will be crafts, games, and refreshments. Call or visit the Children’s Room to register. 413-594-1800 x4. 449 Front Street. Chicopee, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, December 10, 6pm-8pm – YULETIDE/HISTORY: Celebrate Yuletide by Lantern Light at Storrowton Village. Go on a self-guided tour of the Village, which will be decorate for the holidays in a traditional way. Learn about what the holiday season was like in New England in the past at this unique event. 413-205-5051. 1305 Memorial Avenue. West Springfield, MA. (>$)

Wednesday, December 10, 6pm-8pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: The Collaborative for Educational Services is offering a workshop for parents as part of the Puzzle of Parenting series – “Two Parents, Two Parenting Styles.” This workshop is great for parents who sometimes feel at odds with one another or who disagree about things like discipline. Discuss different child rearing approaches and identify positive parenting styles at this workshop. Takes place at Amherst Family Center. Childcare is available and registration is required. 413-586-4998 x102. 1200 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, December 10, 7pm – FILM STUDIES: Amherst Cinema is screening the classic film Fiddler On the Roof (1971; rated G), based on the Broadway musical of the same name. The film is about a father who tries to maintain his family and Jewish traditions while outside influences encroach on their lives. Students who enjoy theater and film will enjoy this screening. 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. ($)

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 11th, 2014

Thursday, December 11, 12:15pm – AUTHOR TALK/HISTORY: This week’s Museums a la Carte lecture at the Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts is, “From Circuses to Shanty Towns: Turning Fact into Historical Fiction” with author M.P. Barker. Barker will discuss the research behind her historical novel Mending Horses, which is set in 1830s New England. Older students interested in books and history will enjoy this talk. 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. (>$)

Thursday, December 11, 2pm – MOVIE: Join the Westhampton Public Library for a screening of The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014; rated PG). 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, December 11, 4pm-8pm – SANTA: Celebrate the holidays this year at Look Park on Santa’s Train! The Garden House is transformed into a Victorian style train station and you can see holiday trees, meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, have cookies and hot cocoa, and ride the Look Park Holiday Express! Family members of all ages will enjoy this fun holiday activity, which runs every day until Christmas Eve. 413-584-5457. 300 North Main Street. Florence, MA. (>$)

Thursday, December 11, 5pm-8pm – PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: The fifth season of Culture and Cocktails continues on December 11 at the Springfield Museums! This month’s event is “The Sparkle of the Holidays.” There will be live music, entertainment, hors d’oeuvres, and more. You must be 21 or older to attend this event. 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. ($$)

Thursday, December 11, 6pm – FILM STUDIES: Learn about film special effects at the Berkshire Museum’s Little Cinema series, “FX in the Berkshires – Middle Earth to the Matrix.” On December 11, come see The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001; rated PG-13) and learn about the special effects in the film from Berkshire resident John Nugent, who worked on all three Lord of the Rings films. Older students interested in film studies will love getting to learn about the technology and effects behind this epic film. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($)

Thursday, December 11, 7:30pm – PERFORMANCE: Come see Cirque Dreams Holidaze at the Mullins Center on December 11! This performance features costumed artists who perform amazing feats, like gingerbread men flipping in the air, toy soldiers marching on thin wires, snowmen balancing, reindeer soaring, and much more. This is a fun holiday circus performance for the whole family. Tickets available in advance. 200 Commonwealth Avenue. Amherst, 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-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: Parents/caregivers and kids ages 18 months to 3 years can attend a Toddler Steps program at the CHP Family Services Building, held by South Berkshire Kids. The program features circle time, stories, songs, crafts, and play, and runs every Thursday through June 2015. 413-464-5095. 442 Stockbridge Road. Great Barrington, 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 12th, 2014

Friday, December 12, 11am-12noon – THEATER/MUSIC: Hear new and old Broadway songs performed by Westfield State University students at Carpe Diem! at the Tiger’s Pride Restaurant at Westfield Vocational Technical High School. Students will perform song from a variety of popular Broadway shows. Students interested in musical theater will enjoying hearing these songs performed live onstage. Cost of ticket includes buffet lunch prepared by culinary arts students at WVTHS. Reservations are suggested. 413-563-3123. 33 Smith Avenue. Westfield, MA. ($)

Friday, December 12, 1pm – HOLIDAY CONCERT: Hampshire Regional High School presents a Holiday Concert at theWesthampton Public Library on December 12. Enjoy hearing classic holiday songs at this performance. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)

Friday, December 12, 3:30pm-4:30pm – CRAFTS: Make your own origami boxes at the Forbes Library. Kids can create unique, one-of-a-kind origami boxes at this fun event. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Friday, December 12, 4pm & 6:30pm – THE NUTCRACKER: Enjoy a performance of The Nutcracker by students of the Massachusetts Academy of Ballet at the Wistariahurst Museum. This classic Christmas story will be told through narration and dance, and family members of all ages will enjoy the beautiful performance. Please purchase tickets in advance. 413-322-5660. 238 Cabot Street. Holyoke, MA. ($)

Friday, December 12, 4pm & 7:30pm – THE NUTCRACKER: The Nutcracker was first performed in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1892 and has become a classic ballet (especially during the holidays) since then. Pioneer Valley Ballet will perform its annual performance of the ballet at the Academy of Music Theatre this December. This performance is a winter tradition, and all ages will enjoy seeing remarkable dancing and hearing beautiful music. It is recommended that you purchase tickets ASAP. 413-584-9032 x105. 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA. ($$-$$$)

Friday, December 12, 4pm-8pm – SANTA: Celebrate the holidays this year at Look Park on Santa’s Train! The Garden House is transformed into a Victorian style train station and you can see holiday trees, meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, have cookies and hot cocoa, and ride the Look Park Holiday Express! Family members of all ages will enjoy this fun holiday activity, which runs every day until Christmas Eve. 413-584-5457. 300 North Main Street. Florence, MA. (>$)

Friday, December 12, 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 12, 5pm-10pm – HOLIDAY STROLL: The annual It’s a Wonderful Night happens in downtown Turners Falls on December 12. Join in for a holiday event featuring festive storefront windows, live music, art exhibitions, performances, restaurant specials, opportunities to buy local gifts, and more. Turners Falls, MA.

Friday, December 12, 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 12, 5:30pm-7pm – THEATER: Community Resources for People with Autism and CIP present their 3rd Annual Variety Show – “A Night on Broadway” at Spectrum Playhouse. These talented young performers will sing, dance, and act scenes and songs from some classic Broadway hits. There will also be a silent auction, raffle, and bake sale. Good for all ages. 413-394-5023. 20 Franklin Street. Lee, MA. (FREE/SUGGESTED DONATION >$)

Friday, December 12, 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 12, 7:30pm – THEATER: Shakespeare and Company presents a special production of It’s a Wonderful Life – a live radio play! The performance is a funny and unique play-within-a-play that tells the classic Christmas Eve tale of It’s a Wonderful Life, complete with live radio commercials, sound effects, and more. This unique performance is a fun way to celebrate Christmas! Runs every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through December 28. 413-637-3353. 70 Kemble Street. Lenox, MA. ($$-$$$)

Friday, December 12, 7:30pm – WINTER SOLSTICE/PERFORMANCE: Welcome Yule: A Midwinter Celebration consists of delightful music, dance, songs and stories celebrating the return of the light this winter. The show is in its 30th year, and this year, it is about a small English village in medieval times. Young villagers steal from the rich and give to the poor so everyone can have a plentiful Christmas. All ages can enjoy the Welcome Yule’s signature carols, festivities, the passing of the yule log, stick dancing, a mummers play, and the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance. The performance takes place at the Shea Theater. 413-323-4239. 71 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA ($)

Friday, December 12, 7:30pm – THEATER: Westfield Theatre Group presents a production of A Christmas Carol this December at the Westfield Woman’s Club. Come see this Charles Dickens classic and get into the holiday spirit. Reservations available. 413-572-6838. 28 Court Street. Westfield, 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 – 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. 2 Depot Street. Stockbridge, 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-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-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Parents/caregivers and young children can attend Skip and Dip at the Berkshire South Regional Community Center, held by South Berkshire Kids. This group consists of splash pool and gym time and runs every Friday through June 2015. 413-464-5095. 15 Crissey Road. Great Barrington, 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 – PLAYGROUP: Parents/caregivers and young children can attend an art and nature playgroup at the CHP Campus, held by South Berkshire Kids. Runs every Friday through June 2015. 413-464-5095. 442 Stockbridge Road. Great Barrington, 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. $
  • 1:30pm-5:30pm – FARMERS’ MARKET: The Easthampton Winter Farmers’ Market will be in the Eastworks Building every Friday all winter. Come by for local veggies, meat, apples, yarn, baked goods, syrup, skin care products, and more. 116 Pleasant Street. Easthampton, MA. (MARKET)
  • 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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