Suggested Events for January 3rd-9th, 2015

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“With a toddler and a baby expected on New Year’s Day, our family is in the midst of creating new traditions during the winter months here in Western MA. Whether it is our daughter saying “moon” for the first time, a first cup of hot chocolate, or pulling a sled on the conservation land by the community gardens, we look forward to a season of firsts and memories.” – Celeste (Northampton, 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 giving this year so we can move forward together! Click here to make a tax-deductible donation today. Thank you for your support!

First Day Hikes

New Years Day lends itself to reflection, prompting us to think of all that passed in the previous year and all that’s to come in the new one. Families can bring nature into their reflection by participating in an organized community First Day hike, or by finding their own place to explore on their own. Hiking to a high place and watching life in your community from above can provide some much needed perspective on your family’s place within what you see. Check our post, First Day Hike in Nature: A Time for Family Reflection, for hike to do with the family on New Year’s Day.

Bulletin Board

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.

Jan 5

Young Shakespeare Players East in Turners Falls: Can kids ages 7 to 18 do Shakespeare? Yes, uncut and unbelievable. The Young Shakespeare Players East is a non-profit classical theater program where young people perform full-length, original works of Shakespeare. Join the fun: Free Soup and Game Night at Hope + Olive in Greenfield, Jan 5, 5-7:30pm, Twelfth Night Celebration and Benefit for YSP East! Baked goods for sale, proceeds support YSP’s Scholarship Fund. Want to join YSP East? Intro session for Spring 2015 Julius Caesar program is Wed, Jan 21, 4-7pm at The Shea Theater, rehearsals every Wed and Sun, scholarships available. No auditions or rejections. ‘Like’ their Facebook page to learn more: Facebook.com/yspeast.

Jan 8

Mermaid Pizza Party at Odyssey Bookshop on Thursday, January 8th at 5pm. Swim down to the Odyssey Bookshop to explore an underwater world of magic and fantasy! Author Jennifer Donnelly will unlock the secrets to the mermaid kingdom from the first and second books in the Waterfire saga. Munch on free pizza, get glitter tattoos and revel in the words as you hear from Carnegie Medal and a Michael L. Printz Honor author, Jennifer Donnelly. Perfect for ages 9+! This event is free, but please RSVP by emailing RSVP@odysseybks.com. Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College Street, South Hadley, MA. www.odysseybks.com

Jan 10

Pioneer Valley Ballet is holding auditions for an original ballet, Aladdin and his Magic Lamp on January 10, 2015. The story of Aladdin and his Magic Lamp comes to life this spring at The Academy of Music on March 28 & 29, 2015. Presented by Pioneer Valley Ballet, the colorful characters and spell-bounding choreography takes audience members on a magical ride through a land brimming with genies, dreams, love, and adventure. Roles include Bluebirds, Flowers, Canaries, Bats, Spiders, and Children of the Palace. Children 4.5 – 12 years are invited to audition. No dance experience needed. Children must be at least 4.5 by January 10. Registration and information at www.pioneervalleyballet.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.

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LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
January 3-9, 2015

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Events Happening in the Hilltowns

Saturday, January 3rd, 2015

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. This week Nick Deysher from the Pioneer Valley’s own In The Nick of Time will be our Guest DJ. His theme for the show is “Kickin’ It Old School: Songs from way back when (and modern artists w/ a vintage vibe),” and features an eclectic collection of various musical styles including, big band jazz, bluegrass, Americana, funk, folk, and classic rock and roll. Take a trip on a musical time machine this week on The Hilltown Family Variety Show! 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, January 3, TBA – MUSIC: Attend a free sample class by Music Together for Valley Families on January 3 at the South Hadley Public Library. 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. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, January 3, 9am-2pm – FARMERS’ MARKET: The Northampton Winter Farmers’ Market at Smith Vocational School runs through April 18. Come for fresh, local greens, root veggies, squash, fruit, bread, cheese, eggs, meat, pastries, and more. This market is a great spot to do local seasonal food shopping during the cold winter months! 80 Locust Street. Northampton, MA. (MARKET)

Saturday, January 3, 9am-4pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Explore Bartholomew’s Cobble with The Trustees of Reservations’ Hot Chocolate Saturdays series! Visitors can hike, snowshoe, and/or ski at the Cobble (weather depending, of course), and end their excursion with a cup of cocoa in the visitor center. Families can practice looking for signs of birds and mammals, and can explore the changes that have taken place to the landscape since winter set in. 413-229-8600. 105 Weatogue Road. Sheffield, MA. (>$)

Saturday, January 3, 10am-3pm – CHILDREN’S BOOKS: Visit the East Longmeadow Public Library to read Jan Brett’s The Mitten. The pages will be posted along the walls of the children’s room. 413-525-5400 x1506. 60 Center Square. East Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, January 3, 10am-4pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Have fun tubing this winter at Berkshire East! The Tubing Park might open this weekend (call ahead). If it does, tickets are for two hour time slots. 413-339-6617. 66 Thunder Mountain Road. Charlemont, MA. ($$)

Saturday, January 3, 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, January 3, 12:30pm – ANIMAL STUDIES: It’s chow time at the Berkshire Museum! Come watch museum staff some of the aquarium’s most exciting residents. Free with museum admission. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. $

Saturday, January 3, 12:30pm-2:30pm – ICE SKATING: Public skate at the Fitzpatrick Skating Arena. Come improve your ice skating skills! Rentals available – first come, first served. 413-532-2929. 575 Maple Street. Holyoke, MA. (>$)

Saturday, January 3, 1pm-3pm – ICE SKATING: Public skate at the Collins/Moylan Arena. Come improve your ice skating skills! Rentals available – first come, first served. 413-772-6891. 41 Barr Avenue. Greenfield, MA. (>$)

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

Saturday, January 3, 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, January 3, 4pm-5:50pm – ICE SKATING: Hits 94.3 presents a public skate every Saturday at the UMass Mullins Center rink. Come have fun on the rink with friends and family! Skate rentals available (additional >$) 413-545-3001. 200 Commonwealth Avenue. Amherst, MA. (>$)

Saturday, January 3, 7pm-9pm – SNOWSHOEING: Have some family fun outside before vacation’s over! Join The Trustees of Reservations for a moonlight snowshoe at Bullitt Reservation on January 3. Explore the reservation by moonlight at this fun event. Limited quantity of snowshoe rentals available. Registration is required. 413-532-1631 x10. Bullitt Road. Ashfield, MA. ($)

Saturday, January 3, 7pm-9pm – SKIING: Join The Trustees of Reservations at Notchview for moonlight skiing! This is a great chance to get outdoors during the winter and to meet other skiers. Popcorn and cider after. 413-684-0148. Route 9. Windsor, MA. ($)

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Sunday, January 4th, 2015

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, January 4, 9am-5pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Amherst College’s Mead Art Museum is open. Avoid the crowds and check out the museum’s exhibitions, gift shop, and cafe. 413-542-2335. 41 Quadrangle Drive. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, January 4, 10am-4pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Have fun tubing this winter at Berkshire East! The Tubing Park might open this weekend (call ahead). If it does, tickets are for two hour time slots. 413-339-6617. 66 Thunder Mountain Road. Charlemont, MA. ($$)

Sunday, January 4, 11am-2pm – STEM: Families can explore the Springfield Science Museum and meet the Roving Scientist for demonstrations and hands-on science activities. Free with museum admission. Every Sunday. 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. ($$)

Sunday, January 4, 11am-8pm – GO-KARTING: Every Sunday is Family Day at Pioneer Valley Indoor Karting! Ages 8 and up can come enjoy driving around the indoor racetrack. Teens and kids under age 18 must have a guardian present or have waiver signed. This is a great indoor activity for the cold winter months! 413-446-7845. 10 West Street. West Hatfield, MA. ($$)

Sunday, January 4, 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, January 4, 1pm-3pm – ICE SKATING: Public skate at the Collins/Moylan Arena. Come improve your ice skating skills! Rentals available – first come, first served. 413-772-6891. 41 Barr Avenue. Greenfield, MA. (>$)

Sunday, January 4, 2:30pm-4:20pm – ICE SKATING: Hits 94.3 presents a public skate every Sunday at the UMass Mullins Center rink. Come have fun on the rink with friends and family! Skate rentals available (additional >$) 413-545-3001. 200 Commonwealth Avenue. Amherst, MA. (>$)

Sunday, January 4, 3pm-5pm – ICE SKATING: Public skate at the Smead Skating Arena. Come improve your ice skating skills! Rentals available – first come, first served. 413-781-2599. 1780 Roosevelt Avenue. Springfield, MA. (>$)

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Monday, January 5th, 2015

Monday, January 5, 10:30am-11:45am – PLAYGROUP: The Sunderland Public Library is having a baby playgroup! Come meet other babies and parents/caregivers and have a good time playing and socializing. 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Monday, January 5, 5pm-7:30pm – COMMUNITY MEAL/FUNDRAISER: Enjoy a delicious dinner at Hope and Olive to support the Young Shakespeare Players East! Fill up on free soup and bread and then purchase baked goods to benefit YSP. 802-258-7922. 44 Hope Street. Greenfield, MA. (FUNDRAISER)

Monday, January 5, 6pm-8pm – THEATER: The Drama Studio is holding an Open House for prospective students on January 5. Come learn about their programs and facilities and participate in a free acting class at this event. Students between ages 9 and 17 can learn about the acting classes offered by the Studio at this event. Call to register. 413-739-1983. 41 Oakland Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

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

  • 9am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Amherst Family Center is open every Monday through Friday, 9am-12noon. Drop in for playgroups and activities for young children (ages 0-5) and caregivers. 413-256-1145. 1200 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: 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. (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. (DONATION)
  • 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. (FREE)
  • 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. (FREE)
  • 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. (FREE)
  • 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)
  • 10:30am-12noon – MOTHERS GROUP: The Nursing Mothers’ Council is hosting a monthly gathering on the second Monday of each month at the Amherst Family Center. Women and children can come to the meetings to meet one another, support each other, and discuss breastfeeding. 413-336-1616. 1200 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA.
  • 10:30am-12:30pm – ICE SKATING: Public skate at the Smead Skating Arena. Come improve your ice skating skills! Rentals available – first come, first served. 413-781-2599. 1780 Roosevelt Avenue. Springfield, MA. (>$)
  • 11am-12:30pm – PARENT GROUP: Mothers of infants and young children, as well as expectant moms, can come to the Hilltown Village Mothers’ Group every Monday at St. John’s Corner House. Come talk about motherhood and share your experiences in this supportive group environment. Childcare is available for kids up to age 4; infants in arms are welcome. The group follows the Mohawk Trail school schedule. 413-522-9732. 469 Main Street. Ashfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am-12:30pm – PLAYGROUP: Young kids can come to tummy time at the Forbes Library every Monday. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 12:30pm-2:30pm – ICE SKATING: Public skate at the Fitzpatrick Skating Arena. Come improve your ice skating skills! Rentals available – first come, first served. 413-532-2929. 575 Maple Street. Holyoke, MA. (>$)
  • 2pm-4pm – ICE SKATING: Public skate at the Collins/Moylan Arena. Come improve your ice skating skills! Rentals available – first come, first served. 413-772-6891. 41 Barr Avenue. Greenfield, MA. (>$)
  • 3pm-5pm – CHESS: Kids ages 7 and up can stop by the Forest Park Branch Library every Monday to practice chess or learn to play. 413-263-6843. 380 Belmont Avenue. Springfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 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-5pm – TEEN TIME: Teens can hang out at the Springfield Central Library‘s Teen Time, which gives teens a chance to talk about their interests with their peers and do activities. Every Monday. 413-263-6828 x471. 220 State Street. Springfield, 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 8yr 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, January 6th, 2015

Tuesday, January 6, 3:30pm-5pm – ARTS & CRAFTS: Make your own winter wreath at the Brightwood Branch Library! Come design and create a wreath using materials like yarn, fabric, tissue paper, ribbons, coffee filters, cotton balls, and more. 413-263-6805. 359 Plainfield Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, January 6, 4pm-5:30pm – DIY: Tweens and teens can make their own upcycled journals at the Sixteen Acres Branch Library. Make your own one-of-a-kind journal using old book jackets, magazine, cereal boxes, and other materials. Participants will also learn about different types of journals. Registration is suggested. 413-263-6858. 1187 Parker Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, January 6, 6pm – VOLUNTEER: Animal lovers ages 16 and up can attend a Volunteer Welcome Session at Dakin Humane Society in Leverett. Come learn about the many different volunteer opportunities at Dakin and what kinds of tasks volunteers can do. Volunteering at Dakin is a great opportunity to help animals in need and to discover first-hand the amazing work done by volunteers. Call for more info. 413-781-4000 x111. 163 Montague Road. Leverett, MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Tuesday, January 6, 6pm-8pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: The East Longmeadow Public Library and Rick’s Place are offering a workshop for parents and caregivers – “Grief Through Story.” This program will teach parents and caregivers how to use children’s literature to begin conversations with children about grief, death, and dying. Registration is encouraged. 413-525-5400 x1506. 60 Center Square. East Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, January 6, 6:30pm-7:30pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Earthworks Programs’ Frank Grindrod will present a free emergency preparedness talk on January 6 at River Valley Market. This introduction to emergency preparedness will teach you what to do in emergency situations like extreme weather, power outages, being stranded in a car, lost in the wilderness, etc. Pre-registration is required. 413-584-2665. 330 North King Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

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

  • 9am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Belchertown Family Center is open Tuesday-Friday from 9am-12noon for drop-in activities for infants, preschoolers, and their caregivers. 413-283-7594. 720 Franklin Street. Belchertown, MA. (FREE)
  • 9am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Amherst Family Center is open every Monday through Friday, 9am-12noon. Drop in for playgroups and activities for young children (ages 0-5) and caregivers. 413-256-1145. 1200 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 9am-12midnight – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Amherst College’s Mead Art Museum is open late – until 12midnight – every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday during the College’s academic year. Avoid the crowds and check out the museum’s exhibitions, gift shop, and cafe during these special late hours. 413-542-2335. 41 Quadrangle Drive. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: Join the Pittsfield CFCE every Tuesday for a playgroup at Egremont Elementary School. 413-499-4809. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11am – PLAYGROUP: Playgroup for young kids ages birth-preK at the Dickinson 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. (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. (DONATION)
  • 10am – STORYTIME: Come to the Goodwin Memorial Library every Tuesday for storytime! Runs all year. 413-584-7451. Route 47 & Route 9. Hadley, MA. (FREE)
  • 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 – LITERACY: Kids ages 2-9 ½ can attend a literacy group at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Westfield. Come with a parent or caregiver and practice reading skills! Runs every Tuesday and Thursday. 413-568-5242. 28 West Silver Street. Westfield, 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. (FREE)
  • 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)
  • 10:30am-2:30pm – ICE SKATING: Public skate at the Fitzpatrick Skating Arena. Come improve your ice skating skills! Rentals available – first come, first served. 413-532-2929. 575 Maple Street. Holyoke, MA. (>$)
  • 10:45am-12:45pm – ICE SKATING: Public skate at the Smead Skating Arena. Come improve your ice skating skills! Rentals available – first come, first served. 413-781-2599. 1780 Roosevelt Avenue. Springfield, MA. (>$)
  • 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. >$
  • 2pm-4pm – ICE SKATING: Public skate at the Collins/Moylan Arena. Come improve your ice skating skills! Rentals available – first come, first served. 413-772-6891. 41 Barr Avenue. Greenfield, 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 2nd Tuesday of each month. 413-267-3866. 2 High Street. Monson, MA. (FREE)
  • 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, January 7th, 2015

Wednesday, January 7, 10am-12noon – HIKING/NATURE STUDIES: The Hilltown Land Trust will lead a hike from the Bullitt Reservation to Chapel Brook. Begin at the Bullitt Farmhouse and walk to Chapel Brook, exploring the geology of the region as you go. The hike is open to all ages and there is a 4-mile option and a 1-mile option. Call to RSVP. 413-628-4485 x4. Bullitt Road. Ashfield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, January 7, 10am-1pm – HIKING: Join the Berkshire Natural Resources Council for a moderate hike at Alford Springs. 413-499-0596. Mountain Road. Alford, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, January 7, 11am-12:50pm – ICE SKATING: Hits 94.3 presents a public skate at the UMass Mullins Center rink. Come have fun on the rink with friends and family! Skate rentals available (additional >$) 413-545-3001. 200 Commonwealth Avenue. Amherst, MA. (>$)

Wednesday, January 7, 1:45pm-4pm – NATURE STUDIES: The Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation is offering a nature program for kids in grades 1-4 every Wednesday in January. The program, which is led by WRLF Director Leslie Reed-Evans and students assistants from Williams College, features unstructured nature activities like sledding, exploration, stories, games, and crafts. Come every week ($$) or to individual sessions ($). Call to pre-register. 413-458-2494. 671 Cold Spring Road. Williamstown, MA.

Wednesday, January 7, 7pm – HISTORY/CHILDREN’S LITERATURE: Discover America’s history through children’s literature at Forbes Library on January 7. “Engaging Young People with History: An Evening with YA and Middle Grade Novelists” focuses on local authors whose work is set in the American past. The books cover a range of time periods and topics from history, including the Cold War, the early America of Louisa May Alcott, Emily Dickinson’s New England, and medical mistakes from the 1960s. Authors include Jeannine Atkins, Burleigh Mutén, Ellen Wittlinger, and Jane Yolen. This event would be best for teens and adults. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

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

  • 9am-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Collaborative for Educational Services is offering a parent-child playgroup every Wednesday at the First Congregational Church of Hatfield. Come play and learn together at this fun playgroup! 413-586-4998. 41 Main Street. Hatfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 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. (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. (DONATION)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: There will be playgroup at the Cummington Family Center every Wednesday and Friday through May. The playgroups are parent-run, which means that the first parent to arrive can set up toys and make coffee/tea. 33 Main Street. Cummington, 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)
  • 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-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: South Berkshire Kids is offering a playgroup every Wednesday at the Lenox Community Center. Come for play, crafts, activities, stories, and more. 413-464-5095. 65 Walker Street. Lenox, 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. (FREE)
  • 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)
  • 10:30am-11:30am – STORYTIME: The Community Network for Children offers a story hour every Wednesday at the Leverett Library. Children ages 5 and under can come for music, movement, books, and hands-on activities. 978-544-5157. 75 Montague Road. Leverett, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-12:30pm – ICE SKATING: Public skate at the Smead Skating Arena. Come improve your ice skating skills! Rentals available – first come, first served. 413-781-2599. 1780 Roosevelt Avenue. Springfield, MA. (>$)
  • 11am-12noon – STORYTIME: Preschool storyhour every Wednesday at the Dickinson Memorial Library with Ruthanne Paulson includes stories, music, movement, crafts, and a snack. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 12noon-2pm – ICE SKATING: Public skate at the Collins/Moylan Arena. Come improve your ice skating skills! Rentals available – first come, first served. 413-772-6891. 41 Barr Avenue. Greenfield, MA. (>$)
  • 12:30pm-2:30pm – ICE SKATING: Public skate at the Fitzpatrick Skating Arena. Come improve your ice skating skills! Rentals available – first come, first served. 413-532-2929. 575 Maple Street. Holyoke, MA. (>$)
  • 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)
  • 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. (FREE)
  • 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, January 8th, 2015

Thursday, January 8, 12:15pm – ART: This week’s Museums a la Carte lecture at the Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts is, “Stories From the Kitchen Sink,” with visual artist Ricky Bernstein. He will discuss those who have influence his art over the past 40 years. Best for older students interested in art. 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. (>$)

Thursday, January 8, 3:30pm-4:45pm – MINECRAFT: Tweens and teens can attend Minecraft Club at the Indian Orchard Branch Library on January 8. Come make new friends and trade Minecraft tips and tricks! 413-263-6846. 44 Oak Street. Indian Orchard, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, January 8, 5pm – LITERACY/AUTHOR READING: Swim down to the Odyssey Bookshop Mermaid Pizza Party to explore an underwater world of magic and fantasy! Author Jennifer Donnelly will unlock the secrets to the mermaid kingdom from the first and second books in the Waterfire saga. Munch on free pizza, get glitter tattoos and revel in the words as you hear from Carnegie Medal and a Michael L. Printz Honor author, Jennifer Donnelly. Perfect for ages 9+! This event is free, but please RSVP by emailing RSVP@odysseybks.com. Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College Street, South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, January 8, 5:30-7:30pm – PARENT CAFE: A Parent Cafe is a game of conversation where parents talk with other parents about the joys and challenges of parenting and learn from one another. Enjoy a FREE catered meal, transportation and childcare! Please RSVP by January 5th at 413-664-4821. Haskins Community Center. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA (FREE)

Thursday, January 8, 6pm-8pm – VOLUNTEER: Animal lovers ages 16 and up can attend a Volunteer Welcome Session at Dakin Humane Society in Springfield. Come learn about the many different volunteer opportunities at Dakin and what kinds of tasks volunteers can do. Volunteering at Dakin is a great opportunity to help animals in need and to discover first-hand the amazing work done by volunteers. Call for more info. 413-781-4000 x111. 171 Union Street. Springfield, MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Thursday, January 8, 7pm – MUSIC: The Pioneer Valley Performing Arts School’s Winter Showcase takes place January 8 and 9 at the Academy of Music. The school’s music classes and performing ensembles will showcase their first semester’s work at this event. Come enjoy this exciting music performance with family and friends. Tickets available in advance. 413-584-9032 x105. 274 Main Street. Northampton, 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. (DONATION)
  • 10am – MOVEMENT: The Music and Movement program with Laurie and Tom will be at the Carnegie Library every Thursday through February 26. Young children and their caregivers are invited to this fun, free program. 413-863-3214. 201 Avenue A. Turners 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. (FREE)
  • 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. (FREE)
  • 10am-11:30am – LITERACY: Kids ages 2-9 ½ can attend a literacy group at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Westfield. Come with a parent or caregiver and practice reading skills! Runs every Tuesday and Thursday. 413-568-5242. 28 West Silver Street. Westfield, 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-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. (FREE)
  • 10:45am-12:45pm – ICE SKATING: Public skate at the Smead Skating Arena. Come improve your ice skating skills! Rentals available – first come, first served. 413-781-2599. 1780 Roosevelt Avenue. Springfield, MA. (>$)
  • 11am-11:45am – STORYTIME/ARTS & CRAFTS: The Lenox Library is offering Story Craft for kids ages 3-5, with stories and crafts. This program follows the school district schedule. 413-637-0197. 18 Main Street. Lenox, MA. (FREE)
  • 11:15am – STORYTIME: The Wilbraham Public Library holds a weekly storytime for ages 3 ½-5 every Thursday. There will be fun stories and crafts. 413-596-6141. 25 Crane Park Drive. Wilbraham, MA. (FREE)
  • 11:30am-12:30pm – PLAYGROUP: The Family Resource Center is offering a Gym Group for ages walking to 5 every Thursday at the Haskins Center. 413-664-4821. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 12:30pm-2:30pm – ICE SKATING: Public skate at the Fitzpatrick Skating Arena. Come improve your ice skating skills! Rentals available – first come, first served. 413-532-2929. 575 Maple Street. Holyoke, MA. (>$)
  • 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. (FREE)
  • 2pm-4pm – ICE SKATING: Public skate at the Collins/Moylan Arena. Come improve your ice skating skills! Rentals available – first come, first served. 413-772-6891. 41 Barr Avenue. Greenfield, 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. (FREE)
  • 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, January 9th, 2015

Friday, January 9, 2pm-4pm – BABYSITTING CLASS: Tweens and teens ages 11 and up can attend a babysitting class at the Dickinson Memorial Library on January 9 and 16. The class covers first aid, child safety, entertaining, and discipline. Call for more info and to register. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, January 9, 2:30pm-3:30pm – ART: Learn the stories behind some of Norman Rockwell’s most famous paintings at the Norman Rockwell Museum with Curator of Education Tom Daly. Best for older students interested in art. Free with museum admission. 413-298-4100. 9 Route 183. Stockbridge, MA. ($$)

Friday, January 9, 6pm-9pm – SKI SALE/FUNDRAISER: The Amherst Lions Club is holding a Ski and Snowboard Sale at Crocker Farm Elementary School to benefit the Club. There will be alpine skis, snowboards, boots, cross country equipment, snowshoes, twin tip skis, skates, jackets, helmets, pants, goggles, and more for sale. You can drop off items to consign from 4pm-6pm. 280 West Street. Amherst, MA.

Friday, January 9, 7pm – MUSIC: The Pioneer Valley Performing Arts School’s Winter Showcase takes place January 8 and 9 at the Academy of Music. The school’s music classes and performing ensembles will showcase their first semester’s work at this event. Come enjoy this exciting music performance with family and friends. Tickets available in advance. 413-584-9032 x105. 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA. ($)

Friday, January 9, 7pm – STORYTELLING/CULTURAL STUDIES: Father and son Joseph and Jesse Bruchac will present a program of Abenaki stories at Williams College’s Goodrich Hall. Joseph Bruchac is known for his integration of science and folklore, and for his book, Keepers of the Earth: Native American Stories and Environmental Activities for Children. Jesse Bruchac works to preserve music, language, and traditional culture. Their storytelling event focuses on the traditional tales of the Adirondacks and the Native peoples of the Northeastern Woodlands. Older students (ages 10 and up) and adults can attend this event and learn about Native American traditions. 413-597-4277. 863 Main Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Friday, January 9, 7:30pm-9:30pm – SNOWSHOEING: Have some winter fun at Peaked Mountain with The Trustees of Reservations at their Moonlight Syrup-on-Snow Snowshoe Hike. Explore the property in the moonlight on this 2-3 mile snowshoe hike, and enjoy syrup-on-snow afterwards! Snowshoe rentals available. Registration is required. 413-532-1631 x10. 43 Butler Road. Monson, 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)

9:30am-3:30pm – GIRLS’ EMPOWERMENT: Full Moon Girls, nature mentoring takes place on Fridays, Feb 6-May 29, for girls ages 9-15. A spot is open for you! 413-367-6191. Brook’s Bend Farm. Montague, MA (Sliding scale $50-78/day)

  • 9am-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Community Network for Children offers a playgroup every Friday at Shutesbury Elementary School. Children ages 5 and under and a caregiver can come make friends, explore, and discover. 978-544-5157. 23 West Pelham Road. Shutesbury, 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)
  • 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: There will be playgroup at the Cummington Family Center every Wednesday and Friday through May. The playgroups are parent-run, which means that the first parent to arrive can set up toys and make coffee/tea. 33 Main Street. Cummington, 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: Child Care of the Berkshires, Inc. is offering a free baby group for babies and caretakers at the Williamstown Youth Center the first Friday of every month. 413-663-6593. School Street. Williamstown, 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 – TECHNOLOGY: Learn about computers and get help with basic programs at the Carnegie Library on Fridays. Call the library to sign up for a 30-minute time slot. 413-863-3214. 1 Avenue A. Turners Falls, 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. (FREE)
  • 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. (FREE)
  • 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)
  • 10:30am-12:30pm – ICE SKATING: Public skate at the Smead Skating Arena. Come improve your ice skating skills! Rentals available – first come, first served. 413-781-2599. 1780 Roosevelt Avenue. Springfield, MA. (>$)
  • 10:30am-12:30pm – PLAYGROUP: Kids in kindergarten and younger can attend a free playgroup every Friday through May 2015 at the Granby Free Public Library. 413-467-3320. 297 East State Street. Granby, 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. (FREE)
  • 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. (FREE)
  • 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. $
  • 12:30pm-2:30pm – ICE SKATING: Public skate at the Fitzpatrick Skating Arena. Come improve your ice skating skills! Rentals available – first come, first served. 413-532-2929. 575 Maple Street. Holyoke, MA. (>$)
  • 1:30pm-5:30pm – FARMERS’ MARKET: The Easthampton Winter Farmers’ Market will be in the Eastworks Building every Friday all winter. Come by for local veggies, meat, apples, yarn, baked goods, syrup, skin care products, and more. 116 Pleasant Street. Easthampton, MA. (MARKET)
  • 2pm-4pm – ICE SKATING: Public skate at the Collins/Moylan Arena. Come improve your ice skating skills! Rentals available – first come, first served. 413-772-6891. 41 Barr Avenue. Greenfield, MA. (>$)
  • 5:30pm-6:30pm – BOOK GROUP: 2nd and 3rd graders who love reading can attend the Hatfield Public Library‘s Kid Book Club every Friday. Kids can hang out together, recommend books to one another, do book-related activities, and enjoy a pizza dinner. 413-247-9097. 39 Main Street. Hatfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 5:30pm-6:30pm – BOOK GROUP: Tweens in grades 4-6 can attend the Hatfield Public Library‘s B-Tween the Lines Book Club every Friday. Kids can hang out together, recommend books to one another, do book-related activities, write reviews, interview authors, and enjoy a pizza dinner. 413-247-9097. 39 Main Street. Hatfield, MA. (FREE)

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Hilltown Families’ list of Weekly Suggested Events is supported in part by a grant from the Chesterfield, Conway, Erving, Holyoke, Leyden, and Pelham Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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