27 Community Highlights: Family Concerts to Purim. Pancakes to Seeds.

Community meals are great intergenerational opportunities to sit down with neighbors of all ages, making connections and nurturing relationships across the generations. Participating in a community pancake breakfast does more than fill your belly… it strengthens the social fabric of community by developing a sense of place in our children! The Easthampton PTO is hosting a Pancake Breakfast at Easthampton High School on Saturday, February 28, 8:30am-10:30am.

Family  Concerts to Purim. Pancake Breakfast to Charles Dickens. Seeds to Origami. These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured community highlight this week: Families can join the Northampton Parents Center for Family Fun Night on Saturday, February 28, 4pm-7pm! There will be a performance by In the Nick of Time, dessert from Herrell’s, an optional potluck dinner, and playtime. This is a great chance to to get to know other local families! 413-582-2636. 297 Main Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE/DONATIONS ACCEPTED)


STE(A)MSustainabilitySocial JusticeSpring MusicalsCommunity MealNature/Animal StudiesPuppetryLiterature/WritingPurimSocial StudiesHistoryFamily Concerts


Learn Local. Play Local. is sponsored in part by:

North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens

STE(A)M

Origami is a fun hands-on way for kids to engage with an activity that supports their discovery of geometry. Learn about origami at the Springfield Museums’ Museum School on Saturday, February 28, 10am-12:30pm. Kids can do fun, hands-on paper engineering and origami projects to supplement a trip to the Museums’ exhibitions, Origami Interpretations and Above the Fold. Purchase tickets in advance. 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. ($$)

Be a mad scientist at the Berkshire Museum on Saturday, February 28, 11am. 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. ($)

Kids ages 5-11 can visit the Meekins Library for a STEAM craft activity – the science of a snowflake! On Saturday, February 28, 11am-2pm, come learn about snowflakes, make paper snowflakes, see a snowflake experiment, and enjoy hot chocolate. 413-268-7472. 2 Williams Street. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)

Sustainability

Do you have extra seeds from last year but want to have something new growing in your garden this year? Tuesday Market and Grow Food Northampton will be hosting a seed swap on Saturday, February 28th from 10am-1pm at the Northampton Winter Farmers Market. All are welcome to bring locally saved seeds, excess bought seeds, donated seeds, or seeds brought back from another region to trade. You’ll be able to bring home new seeds of your own while meeting and learning from local farmers and gardeners! Feel free to bring information and pictures of your seeds to teach others about the plants in your farm or garden. There will also be short workshops on beginning seed saving, plant breeding, and an open discussion about seed projects that are currently happening in Western Mass. All are welcome even if you don’t have seeds to share. Smith Vocational High School. 80 Locust Street, Northampton, MA (FREE)

Fresh Fest is a film festival taking place at Images Cinema, featuring films focused on food and sustainability. On Saturday, February 28, 1pm, come see Ground Operations: Battlefields to Farmfields (2013), a documentary about veterans returning home from war and becoming farmers. Best for older students interested in documentary film, food, and sustainability. 413-458-5612. 50 Spring Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE/DONATIONS ACCEPTED)

Social Justice

“Singing Songs of Freedom – The Spirituals: Healing Racism Through Music” takes place on Saturday, February 28 from 1:30pm-3:30pm at McCusker’s Market. Presented by Peace Net and led by Gloria De,Layne Matlock, this program aims to use music to bring about healing and social change. Matlock is a performer, dancer, educator, poet, and playwright who grew up singing gospel and spirituals, and later started her own singing group – HARMONY. All are welcome to attend this program and participate in healing through song. This event is wheelchair accessible and is fragrance free. 3 State Street. Shelburne Falls, MA (FREE)

Spring Musicals

The Amherst Regional High School Performing Arts department presents a performance of Hairspray! Thursday, March 5- Saturday, March 7 at 7:30pm & Saturday, March 7 at 2pm at the school. Enjoy this fun musical based on the John Waters movie of the same name. Email arhsmusicals@gmail.com for tickets. 170 Chestnut Street. Amherst, MA.

The Springfield Jewish Community Center’s J-Art young adult theater presents a production of Seussical the Musical. Dr. Seuss fans of all ages can come see this fun performance! Performance days/time include: Thursday, March 5, Sunday, March 8 & Thursday, March 12 at 5:30, and Saturday, March 7, Saturday, March 14 at 8:30pm, and Sunday, March 15 at 3pm. Call for tickets. 413-739-4715. 1160 Dickinson Street. Springfield, MA. ($$)

Students at the Anne T. Dunphy School present a production of Seussical Jr. on Friday, March 6 at 7pm &  Saturday, March 7 at 3pm. All ages will love this musical celebration of all things Dr. Seuss! Call for tickets. 413-268-8421. Williamsburg, MA. ($)

Community Meal

The Easthampton PTO is hosting a Pancake Breakfast at Easthampton High School on Saturday, February 28, 8:30am-10:30am. Community meals are great intergenerational opportunities to sit down with neighbors of all ages, making connections and nurturing relationships across the generations. Participating in a community pancake breakfast does more than fill your belly… it strengthens the social fabric of community by developing a sense of place in our children! Proceeds from this fun intergenerational community meal go directly to PTO programming in the Easthampton schools. In addition to pancakes, juice, coffee, and sausage, there will be special guests and a raffle. 70 Williston Avenue. Easthampton, MA. (>$)

Nature/Animal Studies

Join the West Springfield Park and Recreation Department is holding a winter walk in the Bear Hole Watershed on Saturday, February 28, 10am. Come explore the watershed on snowshoe and search for animal tracks and sign with naturalist Dietrich Schlobohm. All ages are welcome. Registration is required. 413-788-4125. Prospect Avenue and Morgan Road. West Springfield, MA. ($)

Families can explore Bartholomew’s Cobble on a guided trek with The Trustees of Reservations on Saturday, February 28, 10am-12noon. Learn about the reservation’s forests, fields, hills, and river as you search for tracks and sign of wildlife like bald eagles and others. Snowshoes will be available. Please RSVP. 413-229-8600. 105 Weatogue Road. Sheffield, MA. ($)

Kids ages 8 and up can learn about animal tracking with Mass Audubon at Lime Kiln Farm Wildlife Sanctuary. Search for scat, tracks, and other signs of animals that remain active during the winter on Saturday, February 28, 10am-12noon. Registration is required. 413-637-0320. Silver Street. Sheffield, MA. ($)

Learn about animals at the Springfield Museums’ Museum School on Saturday, February 28, 10am-12:30pm. Kids can do fun, hands-on activities like look through insect eyes, dissect owl pellets, touch porcupine quills and animal bones, do water experiments, and more. Visit the Museums’ Animal Secrets exhibit to learn even more. Purchase tickets in advance. 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. ($$)

On Thursday, March 5, 6pm-7:30pm, Mass Audubon is holding a program for families at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary – “Wildlife, Pollutants, and Watersheds – A Sackett Brook Restoration Family Program.” At this program, families can learn how pollutants enter rivers, the role of dams, and how to restore rivers. Participants will build model habitats, test the models with different scenarios, and learn what makes a resilient ecosystem. Call to register. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road. Lenox, MA. (FREE)

Puppetry

Community members are invited to a free puppet play, “The White Bird,” at Matrushka Toys and Gifts as part of the Rudolf Steiner School’s free puppet play series on Saturday, February 28, 10:30am-11:30am. This play, which is best for ages 2-6, is about an old couple who are visited by a mysterious white bird one cold winter night. The story will be told using handmade, needle-felted puppets. 413-528-4015. 309 Main Street. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

The UMass Fine Arts Center presents a performance of A Sea of Puppets by Taiyuan Puppet Theatre Company on Sunday, March 1, 2pm. The group will perform this traditional Taiwanese hand and glove puppet show on a hand-carved wooden stage. The story tells of a young man who saves a young woman from a villain, and features amazing puppetry through delicate gestures, acrobatics, and fighting scenes. Don’t miss the chance to see this beautiful theater performance live right here in Amherst! Takes place in the Bowker Auditorium. 413-545-2511. 100 Holdsworth Way. Amherst, MA. ($$)

Literature/Writing

The Young Shakespeare Players East present a selection of readings from Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities at The Rendezvous on Saturday, February 28 & Sunday, March 1, 1pm. 78 Third Street. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Self-directed teens who are interested in writing can attend a fiction writing workshop with D.M. Gordon at the Forbes Library on Saturday, February 28, 1pm-4pm. Learn how writers come up characters, plots, and settings, and how you can do it yourself. Come create characters and a story using your imagination. Space is limited; pre-registration is required. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA.

Purim

Get ready for the Jewish holiday of Purim at Lander Grinspoon Academy! On Sunday, March 1, 10am-11:30am, kids ages 3-5 (and a grown up) can bake, decorate masks, hear stories, listen to songs, and play at this fun program. All are welcome. 257 Prospect Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Celebrate Purim at the Springfield Jewish Community Center’s Purim Carnival on Sunday, March 1, 12:30pm-3pm! The Carnival is royalty-themed and features games, food, bounce houses ($), a magician, a woodworking project, a chance to get your photo taken with King Ahasuerus and Queen Esther, a Megillah reading, and more. JCC summer camp registration also begins at the carnival. More information about the carnival can be found on the Springfield JCC website. 413-739-4715. 1160 Dickinson Street. Springfield, MA.

Chabad Northampton is hosting Purim costume party at the Iron Horse on Thursday, March 5, 4:30pm. There will be a live performance by the Brooklyn Jazz Warriors, a Megillah reading (5pm), kosher wine and drinks, a cash bar, prizes, sushi, dessert, and a costume party. All ages are welcome! Tickets available in advance. 908-447-6953. 20 Center Street. Northampton, MA. ($)

Social Studies

The Human Library Project was founded in Denmark in 2001 as a way to promote human rights and create understanding between people from all different backgrounds and walks of life. On Saturday, February 28, 1pm-4pm, people can check out human “books” in order to learn about different topics at the Williams College Paresky Student Center today. One can check out “books” on topics like “Growing Up in the Jim Crow South,” “Interracial Family,” “Adoptee,” “My Experience With Homelessness,” and many more. People of all ages can come to the Human Library and learn about each person’s backgrounds, stories, lives, and what sorts of challenges they have faced. This is an excellent way to forge connections with people of all ages and from many different backgrounds. 413-597-3131. 39 Chapin Hall Drive. Williamstown, MA.

History

Learn about the historic homes of the Northfield Farms area at the Field Library on Saturday, February 28, 2pm-4pm. Learn about these historic homes and chat with longtime residents about the houses and the area. 413-225-3038. 243 Millers Falls Road. Northfield, MA. (FREE)

Family Concerts

Spend the morning singing and dancing with the Valley’s own Grammy-nominated Mister G at Sunnyside Child Care‘s February Fiesta on Saturday, February 28, 10:30am-12noon! Come dance, decorate a maraca, enjoy fun crafts and activities, and eat pizza with your friends. Takes place at the Florence Community Center. Proceeds benefit the Sunnyside Financial Aid Fund. 413-727-3665. 140 Pine Street. Florence, MA. (>$)

The Jones Library presents a performance by The Nields on Saturday, February 28, 10:30am. Kids ages 4-10 and their families can come enjoy this musical performance at the library. 413-259-3091. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Families can join the Northampton Parents Center for Family Fun Night on Saturday, February 28, 4pm-7pm! There will be a performance by In the Nick of Time, dessert from Herrell’s, an optional potluck dinner, and playtime. This is a great chance to to get to know other local families! Snow date 3/1. 413-582-2636. 297 Main Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE/DONATIONS ACCEPTED)

[Photo credit: (cc) Sylvia Chan]


Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Buckland, Colrain, Cummington, Deerfield, Hadley, Longmeadow, Montgomery, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne, Sunderland, Westhampton, and Worthington Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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