Suggested Events for December 27th, 2014-January 2nd, 2015

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Hilltown Families helps us to cast a wider net when we are looking for activities during school vacation or on the weekends. Often we find sweet little buried gems that would otherwise have escaped our notice… Thanks for being here.” – Sarah Rankin (Greenfield, 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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In this TEDx Talk, “Supporting Education Through Community Engagement,” Hilltown Families Founder, Sienna Wildfield, shares her story on why feeling connected to where you live matters, and how community-based education and community-service learning can help grow active citizens who care about where they live.Did you know that Hilltown Families is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that relies on your support? Click here to make a tax-deductible donation today! For nearly a decade, Hilltown Families has been working towards creating resilient and sustainable communities by developing and strengthening a sense of place in our children and citizens through community-based education and engagement. As we embark on the next 10 years, we look forward to fortifying and expanding our mission to support community-based education and service-based learning through community engagement with the support of volunteers, sponsors and readers like you! Please include Hilltown Families in your end-of-the-year giving so we can move forward together! Click here to make a tax-deductible donation today. Thank you for your support!

Bulletin Board

Dec 27 & 28

Make family memories at The Carle in Amherst! Celebrate A Very Merry Madeline Weekend December 27th and 28th. Visit the special exhibition, Madeline at 75: The Art of Ludwig Bemelmans, to learn about this incredible artist and his beloved character, Madeline. Gallery searches, films, story readings and art projects take place throughout the day, and children will have a chance to meet Madeline at 1pm and 3pm! Plus, CactusHead Puppets presents The Bremen Town Musicians, the classic tale of a donkey, dog, cat, and rooster who set off on a journey together to start new lives as musicians, and the exciting adventures they have along the way. Tickets can be purchased in advance. Visit www.carlemuseum.org for more information.

Dec 31

Why should the grownups get to have all of the fun? Come celebrate New Years Eve for the KIDS at Chandler’s Restaurant at Yankee Candle Village in South Deerfield on December 31st from 11am – 1pm. Countdown to 12NOON instead of Midnight with interactive live entertainment by guitarist Tom Carroll. Full award winning kids menu & lunch menu will be available. Noisemakers will be handed out and an apple cider toast … Just for fun! Please call for reservations. 413-665-1277

Begins Jan 5

The Holyoke Creative Arts Center brings quality instruction in the creative and industrial arts to adults in Holyoke and the surrounding communities. Beginning and experienced students learn side by side with expert instructors in a relaxed and friendly environment. Register today for the Winter II Session which begins Monday, January 5th. Classes include woodcarving, painting, quilting, upholstery, specialty workshops, and more! Join HCAC and contribute to a 90+ year legacy of fostering creativity and community in the Pioneer Valley. For more information and to register for classes, visit www.holyokecac.org or contact HCAC at info@holyokecac.org.

Begins Jan 11

Biocitizen is pleased to offer Words in the Woods, a special course that invites girls ages 10-12 to explore the natural world and to cultivate a greater understanding of themselves through walking, hiking, thinking, reading and writing. In combination with hiking and walking in the Pioneer Valley and beyond, girls who take the course will be asked to keep a journal to guide their creativity; whether the girls’ strengths be art or poetry or observation-based writing, the detailing of the biotic world will fall into their hands because creativity, as we know, comes in all shapes and forms. Creative work will be shared and celebrated to build self-confidence and community. These 8 classes will be held on Sundays, 11am-3pm, Jan. 11-Apr. 24.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your community event, school, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business, 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 advertising 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 27th, 2014 — January 2, 2015

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Events Happening in the Hilltowns

Saturday, December 27th, 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.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 27, 10am-12noon – SNOWSHOEING: Join the Trustees of Reservations at Bartholomew’s Cobble for a snowshoe trek. Explore the reservation’s forests, fields, hills, and river, as well as wildlife tracks and signs, on this easy-to-moderate trek. Snowshoes available in kid and adult sizes. Please RSVP. 413-229-8600. 105 Weatogue Road. Sheffield, MA. ($)

Saturday, December 27, 10am-1pm – HIKING: Families can join the Berkshire Natural Resources Council for a fun, easy hike at Hollow Fields. Walk through open fields and enjoy great views of Yokun Ridge. 413-499-0596. Perry’s Peak Road. Richmond, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 27, 10am-3pm – LEGO: Visit the New England Air Museum over winter vacation to learn about aviation in participate in fun activities. On December 27, ages 3-12 can created futuristic flying machines out of LEGO bricks and learn about engineering in the process. 860-623-3305. 36 Perimeter Road. Windsor Locks, CT. ($)

Saturday, December 27, 10am-5pm – CHILDREN’S BOOKS/MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Have fun learning about Madeline at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art‘s “A Very Merry Madeline Weekend” event this Saturday and Sunday. Visit the special exhibition, Madeline at 75: The Art of Ludwig Bemelmans, and participate in activities like gallery searches, watch films, enjoy storytime, and do hands-on art projects. You can even meet Madeline herself at 1pm and 3pm! Free with museum admission. 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. ($)

Saturday, December 27, 10am-5pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Have fun at the Springfield Museums during school vacation week! They will have art activities (11am-4pm), family science adventures (11am-2pm), planetarium shows (11:15am, 12noon, 1pm, & 2pm; >$), and hands-on activities at the Art Discovery Center (12noon-4pm). There will also be a hula hooping performance by HOOPiVERSE (11am-1pm). Most activities are free with museum admission. 1-800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. ($$)

Saturday, December 27, 11am – ANIMAL STUDIES: Learn about animals and see some cool ones up close at the Storrs Library for “Animal Show on the Go.” All ages can learn about animal behavior and anatomy, and can even meet and touch some animals! Call to sign up. 413-565-4182. 693 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 27, 11am & 1pm – CHILDREN’S PERFORMANCE: CactusHead Puppets present a performance of “The Bremen Town Musicians” at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. This classic tale tells of a donkey, cat, dog, and rooster who go on a journey to start new lives as musicians. Kids will love seeing this classic story come to life! Tickets can be purchased in advance. 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. (>$)

Saturday, December 27, 11am-12noon – CHEMISTRY: Be a mad scientist at the Berkshire Museum! Along with the help of the museum’s very own crazy chemist, kids can learn how to do exciting and surprising (and safe!) experiments with regular household materials. Kitchen Kaboom! is totally kid-safe, but adults must accompany participating scientists. Free with museum admission. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($)

Saturday, December 27, 11am-4pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Have fun and learn about art at the Norman Rockwell Museum during school vacation week! The museum is offering a series of programs for the whole family during their “Rockwell and Dickens: A Victorian Holiday Celebration” event. There will be art making activities, tours, readings, and music performed by the Berkshire Community Music School. Free with museum admission. 413-298-4100. 9 Route 183. Stockbridge, MA. ($$)

Saturday, December 27, 12noon-2pm – BOARD GAMES: School-aged readers can come to the West Stockbridge Public Library with friends and family to play board games together during winter vacation. 413-232-0300 x308. 21 State Line Road. West Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 27, 2pm – MOVIE: The Westfield Athenaeum is screening Elf (2003; PG) for grades 6-12. Please register in advance. 413-562-6158 x5. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 27, 2pm – COMMUNITY SING: The Berkshire Lyric Chorus presents a Handel’s Messiah Community Sing at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. Come sing along to a professional orchestra with community members. Bring your own vocal score or buy one at the door. 413-499-0258. 67 East Street. Pittsfield, MA.

Saturday, December 27, 2pm & 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. ($$-$$$)

Saturday, December 27, 3pm – TECHNOLOGY: Discover the role of robots in the future at Western Gateway Heritage State Park. Suitable for older students interested in technology. 413-663-6312. 115 State Street. North Adams, MA.

Saturday, December 27, 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 27, 3:30pm-5:30pm – HISTORY: Tom Hooker Hanford will present “Wassail, Wassail, All Over the Town!” on December 27 at Ventfort Hall. In this show, he will present the winter solstice traditions of the British Isles and United States with songs, sing-alongs, audience role playing, and more. All ages can attend this fun performance and learn about these interesting solstice traditions. 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street. Lenox, MA. ($)

Saturday, December 27, 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 27, 5:30pm-7pm – FASHION STUDIES: Discover how the writings of Charles Dickens inspired the artwork of Norman Rockwell at “Victorian Holiday: Fashion in the Dickensian Era” at the Norman Rockwell Museum. View Rockwell’s holiday paintings and learn about Dickensian fashions from Linda Meyer of Lynda’s Antique Clothing Loft in Adams, MA. Older students interested in art, literature, and fashion will enjoy seeing how the three are related at this program, which is free with museum admission or $ for just the program. 413-298-4100. 9 Route 183. Stockbridge, MA. ($$)

Saturday, December 27, 6:30pm-11pm – CONTRA DANCE: Sheffield’s Mid Winter Contra Dance is on December 27 at Dewey Hall. There will be a potluck at 6:30pm, followed by a beginner contra lesson at 7:30pm, and then the community contra dance begins at 8pm. There will be music by the Eclectic Jam Band and calling by Kathryn Wedderburn. This is a fun opportunity for families to attend a contra dance together, and for those who have never been before to learn. 860-672-6101. 91 Main Street. Sheffield, MA. (SUGGESTED DONATION $)

Saturday, December 27, 7pm – PERFORMANCE/LITERATURE: Local student actors present “An Evening with Louisa Alcott and her Little Women” at the Lenox Library. This performance of Louisa May Alcott’s classic story is suitable for all ages. Come see the story acted out by talented local students. Tickets available in advance at the main desk. 413-637-0197. 18 Main Street. Lenox, MA. ($$)

Saturday, December 27, 7pm-8:30pm – FILM/HISTORY: Berkshire Museum‘s Little Cinema is screening Diplomacy (2014; not rated) a French and German historical drama film about World War II. Specifically, it is about Hitler’s order to destroy Paris, and Swedish diplomat Raoul Nordling, who tries to persuade the Germans not to destroy the city. The film would appeal to older students with an interest in history. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($)

Saturday, December 27, 7:30pm – PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: Join Franklin Land Trust at Memorial Hall for a Concert Against the Pipeline. This benefit concert features performances by Jeffrey Foucault, Kris Delmhorst, Rusty Belle, and Abe Loomis and raises money to help Franklin Land Trust fight the Kinder Morgan gas pipeline. Tickets are available in advance from World Eye Books and Boswell’s Books. 413-341-3317. 51 Bridge Street. Shelburne Falls, MA. ($$)

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Sunday, December 28th, 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, December 28, 10am-5pm – AVIATION/DRAWING: Visit the New England Air Museum over winter vacation to learn about aviation in participate in fun activities. On December 28, ages 3-15 can make a drawing or collage based on the theme “what I love about flight.” 860-623-3305. 36 Perimeter Road. Windsor Locks, CT. ($)

Sunday, December 28, 11am-4pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Have fun and learn about art at the Norman Rockwell Museum during school vacation week! The museum is offering a series of programs for the whole family during their “Rockwell and Dickens: A Victorian Holiday Celebration” event. There will be art making activities, tours, readings, and music performed by the Berkshire Community Music School. Free with museum admission. 413-298-4100. 9 Route 183. Stockbridge, MA. ($$)

Sunday, December 28, 11am-5pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Have fun at the Springfield Museums during school vacation week! They will have art activities (11am-4pm), family science adventures (11am-2pm), planetarium shows (11:15am, 12noon, 1pm, & 2pm; >$), and hands-on activities at the Art Discovery Center (12noon-4pm). There will also be a magic performance by Matt Roberts (2pm). Most activities are free with museum admission. 1-800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. ($$)

Sunday, December 28, 12noon-5pm – CHILDREN’S BOOKS/MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Have fun learning about Madeline at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art‘s “A Very Merry Madeline Weekend” event this Saturday and Sunday. Visit the special exhibition, Madeline at 75: The Art of Ludwig Bemelmans, and participate in activities like gallery searches, watch films, enjoy storytime, and do hands-on art projects. You can even meet Madeline herself at 1pm and 3pm! Free with museum admission. 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. ($)

Sunday, December 28, 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 28, 1pm – CHILDREN’S PERFORMANCE: CactusHead Puppets present a performance of “The Bremen Town Musicians” at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. This classic tale tells of a donkey, cat, dog, and rooster who go on a journey to start new lives as musicians. Kids will love seeing this classic story come to life! Tickets can be purchased in advance. 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. (>$)

Sunday, December 28, 2pm – HISTORY: The Yiddish Book Center is screening Marc Shaffer’s film, “American Jerusalem: Jews and the Making of San Francisco” on December 28. Learn the story of the pioneering Jews of San Francisco, who were drawn to the west by the Gold Rush, and then welcomed into San Francisco, which was then a sleepy maritime village. This film would appeal to older students interested in history. 413-256-4900. 1021 West Street. Amherst, MA. ($)

Sunday, December 28, 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 28, 2pm & 7pm – PERFORMANCE/LITERATURE: Local student actors present “An Evening with Louisa Alcott and her Little Women” at the Lenox Library. This performance of Louisa May Alcott’s classic story is suitable for all ages. Come see the story acted out by talented local students. Tickets available in advance at the main desk. 413-637-0197. 18 Main Street. Lenox, MA. ($$)

Sunday, December 28, 3:30pm-5:30pm – MARIONETTES: Puppeteer Carl Sprague will present a marionette production of “Sleeping Beauty” at Ventfort Hall. Learn about antique puppets at this exciting show. 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street. Lenox, MA. ($)

Sunday, December 28, 4pm – COMMUNITY CONCERT: The Cummington Village Church is holding their 50th Annual Messiah Sing on December 28! Come sing the Christmas portion of Handel’s Messiah with conductor Gregory Hayes, selected soloists, and community members. 413-634-5320. Cummington, MA.

Sunday, December 28, 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 28, 7pm-8:30pm – FILM/HISTORY: Berkshire Museum‘s Little Cinema is screening Diplomacy (2014; not rated) a French and German historical drama film about World War II. Specifically, it is about Hitler’s order to destroy Paris, and Swedish diplomat Raoul Nordling, who tries to persuade the Germans not to destroy the city. The film would appeal to older students with an interest in history. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($)

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Monday, December 29th, 2014

Monday, December 29, 9am-12noon – MUSIC STUDIES: The Spectrum Playhouse is offering a World Music Day Winter Break Camp on December 29. Kids can explore music and instruments from around the world, get crafty making their own instruments from recycled materials, and play their newly-made instruments in a fun jam session. This camp is a great opportunity for kids to discover world music and to play music collaboratively with their peers. Call for more info and to sign up. 413-394-5045. 20 Franklin Street. Lee, MA. ($$)

Monday, December 29, 9am-12noon – LEGO/TECHNOLOGY: Bricks4Kidz is hosting a Remote Control Mania event at the Munson Library in South Amherst. At this program, kids (ages 6-10) will build cool LEGO creations and then bring them to life with remote controls. This fun program gives kids an opportunity to explore devices and technological components and to build and use dynamic devices. Kids get to take home a mini model. Please pre-enroll. 413-345-8035. 1046 South East Street. South Amherst, MA. ($$)

Monday, December 29, 10am-10:50am – ICE SKATING: The West Springfield Park and Recreation Department is holding a Free Family Skate at Amelia Park Ice Arena. West Springfield families can come pick up a voucher at the Park and Rec office. Bring your own skates or rent a pair for $3. More information here. 413-263-3284. 21 South Broad Street. Westfield, MA. (>$)

Monday, December 29, 10am-2pm – AVIATION/MODELS: Visit the New England Air Museum over winter vacation to learn about aviation in participate in fun activities. On December 29, ages 8-14 can come build and fly their own model planes (>$). 860-623-3305. 36 Perimeter Road. Windsor Locks, CT. ($)

Monday, December 29, 10am-5pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Have fun at the Springfield Museums during school vacation week! They will have art activities (11am-4pm), family science adventures (11am-2pm), planetarium shows (11:15am, 12noon, 1pm, & 2pm; >$), and hands-on activities at the Art Discovery Center (12noon-4pm). There will also be a performance of “Hoopoe’s Illusion Show” by Chris Yerlig (2pm). Most activities are free with museum admission. 1-800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. ($$)

Monday, December 29, 11am & 2pm – THEATER: Berkshire Children’s Theater presents a production of Disney’s Winnie the Pooh KIDS at the Berkshire Museum. Come see all your favorite Winnie the Pooh characters played by talented local performers, who will act out the stories and sing songs. All ages will love this performance of A.A. Milne’s classic stories! Ticket cost includes museum admission. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($$)

Monday, December 29, 11am-4pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Have fun and learn about art at the Norman Rockwell Museum during school vacation week! The museum is offering a series of programs for the whole family during their “Rockwell and Dickens: A Victorian Holiday Celebration” event. There will be art making activities, tours, readings, and music performed by the Berkshire Community Music School. Free with museum admission. 413-298-4100. 9 Route 183. Stockbridge, MA. ($$)

Monday, December 29, 1pm-3pm – LEGOS: Come build architectural masterpieces with LEGOs at the East Longmeadow Public Library. This LEGO build is based on theme. Drop-in to build and engage in a small-scale engineering project. 413-525-5400 x1506. 60 Center Square. East Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

Monday, December 29, 2pm-4pm – CULINARY ARTS: Tweens and teens can decorate holiday cupcakes at the Indian Orchard Branch Library. Pre-register. 413-263-6846. 44 Oak Street. Indian Orchard, MA. (FREE)

Monday, December 29, 3:30pm – MAGIC: Brothers Pete and Chris will present a super fun magic show on December 29 at Ventfort Hall. Kids will love this slapstick comedy performance! 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street. Lenox, MA. ($)

Monday, December 29, 3:30pm-5:30pm – ART/PHOTOGRAPHY: Tweens and teens can make their own light art at the Springfield Central Library. Make cool designs in the dark with flashlights and light-up objects, then photograph them using a special app with long exposure times! Please pre-register. 413-263-6828. 220 State Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Monday, December 29, 6pm-8pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Terra Missildine, founder of Level Up Your Life Coaching and Beloved Earth Company, is doing a workshop for parents at the Forbes Library. The workshop focuses on parents who are business owners (“parent-preneurs”) and how they can maintain the most important aspects of their business and personal lives. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Monday, December 29, 7pm-8:30pm – FILM/HISTORY: Berkshire Museum‘s Little Cinema is screening Diplomacy (2014; not rated) a French and German historical drama film about World War II. Specifically, it is about Hitler’s order to destroy Paris, and Swedish diplomat Raoul Nordling, who tries to persuade the Germans not to destroy the city. The film would appeal to older students with an interest in history. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($)

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Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

Tuesday, December 30, 8:30am-8pm – CRAFTS: Stop by the Westfield Athenaeum for a New Year’s craft to make at the library or to take home and make. 413-562-6158 x5. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, December 30, 9am-12noon – TRAINS: The Good Purpose Gallery is offering a Trains in Winter Winter Break Camp on December 30. Kids can come make and decorate their own train seats, then return at 4:30pm to watch The Polar Express (2004; rated G). Call for more info and to sign up. 413-394-5045. 40 Main Street. Lee, MA. ($$)

Tuesday, December 30, 9am-12noon – LEGO/TECHNOLOGY: Bricks4Kidz is hosting a Remote Control Mania event at the Munson Library in South Amherst. At this program, kids (ages 6-10) will build cool LEGO creations and then bring them to life with remote controls. This fun program gives kids an opportunity to explore devices and technological components and to build and use dynamic devices. Kids get to take home a mini model. Please pre-enroll. 413-345-8035. 1046 South East Street. South Amherst, MA. ($$)

Tuesday, December 30, 10am-4pm – AVIATION: Visit the New England Air Museum over winter vacation to learn about aviation in participate in fun activities. On December 30, museum visitors can explore the cockpits of 8 different aircraft, including a helicopter, airliner, jet fighter, and WWII aircraft. 860-623-3305. 36 Perimeter Road. Windsor Locks, CT. ($)

Tuesday, December 30, 10am-5pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Have fun at the Springfield Museums during school vacation week! They will have art activities (11am-4pm), family science adventures (11am-2pm), planetarium shows (11:15am, 12noon, 1pm, & 2pm; >$), and hands-on activities at the Art Discovery Center (12noon-4pm). There will also be a performance by stunt comedian Wacky Chad (11am). Most activities are free with museum admission. 1-800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. ($$)

Tuesday, December 30, 11am – YOGA: The Clark Art Institute is offering an intergenerational beginning-level yoga class open to ages 10 and up. This is a great opportunity for tweens and teens to learn some basic yoga and discover its benefits. Please bring your own mat or towel. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, December 30, 11am & 2pm – THEATER: Berkshire Children’s Theater presents a production of Disney’s Winnie the Pooh KIDS at the Berkshire Museum. Come see all your favorite Winnie the Pooh characters played by talented local performers, who will act out the stories and sing songs. All ages will love this performance of A.A. Milne’s classic stories! Ticket cost includes museum admission. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($$)

Tuesday, December 30, 11am-12:30pm – ART/PHOTOGRAPHY: Tweens and teens can make their own light art at the Forest Park Branch Library. Make cool designs in the dark with flashlights and light-up objects, then photograph them using a special app with long exposure times! Please pre-register. 413-263-6843. 380 Belmont Avenue. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, December 30, 11am-4pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Have fun and learn about art at the Norman Rockwell Museum during school vacation week! The museum is offering a series of programs for the whole family during their “Rockwell and Dickens: A Victorian Holiday Celebration” event. There will be art making activities, tours, readings, and music performed by the Berkshire Community Music School. Free with museum admission. 413-298-4100. 9 Route 183. Stockbridge, MA. ($$)

Tuesday, December 30, 12noon-2pm – BOARD GAMES: School-aged readers can come to the West Stockbridge Public Library with friends and family to play board games together during winter vacation. 413-232-0300 x308. 21 State Line Road. West Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, December 30, 1pm – PUPPETRY/THEATER: The Berkshire Athenaeum presents a performance of “The Firebird” by the Puppet People. All ages will enjoy this puppet performance inspired by the classic Russian folktale and popular ballet. 413-499-9480. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, December 30, 1-2:30pm – GINGERBREAD HOUSE DECORATING: Gingerbread House Decorating at St. John’s Corner House.  Bring your favorite decorating candies and such. The houses will be provided. Young and old alike are welcome. Please call Susan Todd at 628-3998 or Julie Meservey at 628-4694 to reserve a house. Ashfield, MA (FREE)

Tuesday, December 30, 1pm-4pm – STEM: Bring out your inner scientist at the East Longmeadow Public Library. Explore science, art, and engineering activities at this fun program. 413-525-5400 x1506. 60 Center Square. East Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, December 30, 2:30pm – FAMILY MOVIE: The Clark Art Institute is holding a school vacation week film festival for families on December 30, 31, and January 2. On the 30th, come see Frozen (2013; rated PG). 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, December 30, 3pm-4pm – ARTS & CRAFTS: Make your own crown or hat for New Year’s Eve at the S. White Dickinson Memorial Library. Drop-in for this fun, hands-on activity. 413-665-2170. 202 Chestnut Plain Road. Whately, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, December 30, 3pm-5pm – STEM: Get creative with gumdrops and toothpicks at the Sixteen Acres Branch Library. What can you build using just these two things? Come see what you can with these – bridges, cars, castles, etc. – whatever you can imagine! 413-263-6858. 1187 Parker Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

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Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

Wednesday, December 31, 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 31, 10am-11am – ART/NEW YEAR’S: Stop by the East Longmeadow Public Library to make your own hat for New Year’s Eve. 413-525-5400 x1506. 60 Center Square. East Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, December 31, 10am-4pm – CHILDREN’S CELEBRATION: New Year’s Eve is Holyoke’s 18th Annual First Night Jr.! There will be tons of kid-friendly activities at the Children’s Museum, the Merry Go Round, the Volleyball Hall of Fame, and the Heritage State Park Visitor’s Center. Activities include juggling, face painting, magic shows, balloon shows, music, dancing, crafts, and much more! 413-536-7048. Holyoke, MA. ($)

Wednesday, December 31, 10am-5pm – AVIATION/STEM: Visit the New England Air Museum over winter vacation to learn about aviation in participate in fun activities. On December 31, families can work together to design and build gliders out of recycled materials. Test your glider out by seeing how far it can fly an egg! 860-623-3305. 36 Perimeter Road. Windsor Locks, CT. ($)

Wednesday, December 31, 11am – YOGA: The Clark Art Institute is offering an intergenerational beginning-level yoga class open to ages 10 and up. This is a great opportunity for tweens and teens to learn some basic yoga and discover its benefits. Please bring your own mat or towel. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, December 31, 11am-1pm – MAGIC: The Berkshire Museum presents a New Year’s Eve magic show with David Hall. Both kids and adults will enjoy seeing these amazing magic tricks! 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($)

Wednesday, December 31, 11am-1pm – NEW YEARS EVE: Why should the grownups get to have all the fun? Kids can celebrate New Year’s Eve at Chandler’s Restaurant at Yankee Candle Village. There will be a countdown to 12noon with interactive live entertainment by guitarist Tom Carroll. Full kids menu and lunch menu will be available. Noisemakers will be handed out and there will be an apple cider toast. Please RSVP. 413-665-1277. South Deerfield, MA ($)

Wednesday, December 31, 11am-4pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Have fun and learn about art at the Norman Rockwell Museum during school vacation week! The museum is offering a series of programs for the whole family during their “Rockwell and Dickens: A Victorian Holiday Celebration” event. There will be art making activities, tours, readings, and music performed by the Berkshire Community Music School. Free with museum admission. 413-298-4100. 9 Route 183. Stockbridge, MA. ($$)

Wednesday, December 31, 12noon-12midnight – NEW YEAR’S EVE: Welcome the New Year at First Night Northampton! This annual event is a 12-hour party featuring live music, performances, fireworks, activities, food, and so much more! There will be something for all ages at the exciting, 30th-annual event! 413-584-7327. Downtown. Northampton, MA. ($$)

Wednesday, December 31, 2:30pm – FAMILY MOVIE: The Clark Art Institute is holding a school vacation week film festival for families on December 30, 31, and January 2. On the 31st, come see Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009; rated PG). 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, December 31, 6pm-8pm – NEW YEARS EVE: An all ages New Year’s Eve celebration takes place at Cowell Gymnasium. The event features an inflatable bounce house, dancing, music, crafts and games, refreshments, and a New Year’s countdown – early in the evening and for all ages! 413-625-0305. Maple Street. Shelburne Falls, MA (FREE)

Wednesday, December 31, 6pm-9pm – NEW YEAR’S EVE CELEBRATION: Orange’s 19th Annual Starry Starry Night is on December 31. Come for performances, hay rides, ice sculptures, a puppet parade, and fireworks. Performers include singers, storytellers, mimes, magicians, musicians, puppeteers, and others. Performances take place all around town – see here for the schedule. Orange, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, December 31, 10pm – TORCHLIGHT PARADE: The New Year’s Eve celebration is a tradition at Jiminy Peak. A Torchlight parade will wind down the mountain shortly after the close of the lifts at 10pm and will be immediately followed by a fireworks display. Families can then make their way into Christiansen’s Tavern to watch the ball drop and ring in the new year! 413-738-5500. 37 Corey Road. Hancock, MA.

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Thursday, January 1st, 2014

Winter Bucket List Ice Skating in Western MA

Thursday, January 1, 10am – FIRST DAY HIKE: Celebrate the start of the New Year with Williamsburg Woodland Trails on a hike along the Petticoat Hill Reservation/Locke’s Loop Trail. The hike goes through 100-year-old forest and shows signs of past land use – there are stone walls, cellar holes, and old foundations of early farmsteads. This is a great way to get outdoors and learn about natural history. All are welcome. 413-268-7523. Petticoat Hill Road. Williamsburg, MA.

Thursday, January 1, 11am – FIRST DAY HIKE: Celebrate the first day of 2015 with a hike at the DAR State Forest with the Department of Conservation and Recreation. Meet at the Warming Hut and hike along the edge of Upper Highland Lake. All ages are welcome on this 1.5-mile hike. Start off the new year with healthy habits, like exercising and spending time outdoors. 413-268-7098. 78 Cape Street. Goshen, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, January 1, 11am-4pm – ICE SKATING: January 1 is Winter Classic Day at the Amelia Park Ice Arena. Kick off 2015 ice skating with family and friends and enjoying fun activities at the rink. You can watch the NHL winter classic on the big screen, skate, and enjoy some delicious pulled pork. 413-347-4509. 21 South Broad Street. Westfield, MA.

Thursday, January 1, 11am-5pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Looking for something fun to do with the family on the first day of the new year? MASS MoCA will be open! Come check out their awesome exhibits and have fun exploring the galleries and doing hands-on activities at the Art Bar. 413-662-2111. 1040 MASS MoCA Way. North Adams, MA. ($$)

Thursday, January 1, 11am-7pm – COMMUNITY GATHERING: Nothing welcomes the New Year like fresh made falafel! Join Holyoke Hummus at Gateway City Arts for a day of classic cartoons, board games and a Kids Magic the Gathering tournament… oh, and Falafel too! 413-847-0650. 92 Race Street. Holyoke, MA

Thursday, January 1, 1pm – FIRST DAY HIKE: Celebrate the first day of 2015 with a hike at the Great Falls Discovery Center with the Department of Conservation and Recreation. Families can enjoy this leisurely two-mile stroll along the canal and can explore the natural, cultural, and historical sights around Turners Falls. Start off the new year with healthy habits, like exercising and spending time outdoors. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, January 1, 1pm – FIRST DAY HIKE: Celebrate the first day of 2015 with a hike at Mt. Greylock with the Department of Conservation and Recreation. Explore abandoned farmland, forest succession, and look for winter wildlife. After the hike, come to the fireplace and enjoy hot chocolate. First Day Hikes are a great way to start off the new year with healthy habits, like exercising and spending time outdoors. The hike is easy, 1.8 miles and would be appropriate for ages 7 and up. Leashed dogs are welcome. 413-499-4262. 30 Rockwell Road. Lanesborough, MA. (FREE)

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Friday, January 2nd, 2015

Friday, January 2, 9am-4pm – BABYSITTER WORKSHOP/TEENS: Baystate Medical Center and Baystate Mary Lane Hospital are holding a Babysitters Academy for teens and tweens ages 11 ½ to 16. This class will help prepare future babysitters, and focuses on topics such as baby care, first aid, fire safety, home security, accident prevention, child behavior, and CPR. Those who attend will receive a certificate, handbook, and safety booklet. Call to register. 413-794-2229. 361 Whitney Avenue. Holyoke, MA. ($$)

Friday, January 2, 10am – 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)

Friday, January 2, 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, January 2 , 11am – YOGA: The Clark Art Institute is offering an intergenerational beginning-level yoga class open to ages 10 and up. This is a great opportunity for tweens and teens to learn some basic yoga and discover its benefits. Please bring your own mat or towel. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Friday, January 2, 11am-4pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Have fun and learn about art at the Norman Rockwell Museum during school vacation week! The museum is offering a series of programs for the whole family during their “Rockwell and Dickens: A Victorian Holiday Celebration” event. There will be art making activities, tours, readings, and music performed by the Berkshire Community Music School. Free with museum admission. 413-298-4100. 9 Route 183. Stockbridge, MA. ($$)

Friday, January 2, 12noon-2pm – BOARD GAMES: School-aged readers can come to the West Stockbridge Public Library with friends and family to play board games together during winter vacation. 413-232-0300 x308. 21 State Line Road. West Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)

Friday, January 2, 1pm-4pm – 9am-12noon – LEGO: Fans of Disney’s Frozen can attend a Bricks4Kidz program at Second Chances. At this program kids ages 5-10 can build castles, sleighs, and avalanches using LEGO bricks. There will also be games and crafts based on the movie. Please pre-enroll. 413-345-8035. 7 Pomeroy Lane. South Amherst, MA. ($$)

Friday, January 2, 1pm-5pm – DIY/ARTS & CRAFTS/b>: The Sixteen Acres Branch Library will have a DIY craft table with activities for teens during the month of January. 413-263-6858. 1187 Parker Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, January 2, 2:30pm – FAMILY MOVIE: The Clark Art Institute is holding a school vacation week film festival for families on December 30, 31, and January 2. On the 2nd, come see Hugo (2011; rated PG). 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Friday, January 2, 3pm-5pm – ARTS & CRAFTS: Join Berkshire Carousel at the Good Purpose Gallery to paint your own miniature pony. There will also be a carousel pony to take photos with. Call for more info and to RSVP. 413-394-5045. 40 Main Street. Lee, MA. (>$)

Friday, January 2, 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, January 2, 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. (>$)

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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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