Suggested Events for March 25th – March 31st, 2017

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Hilltown Families is an amazing resource. It is my go-to for discovering kid-friendly events each week. This website makes it really easy to find out what’s happening in and around the Valley, as well as provides great information about local resources and ideas of things to do with my child. Thank you!” – Jaime C. (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.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools, and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after-school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Click HERE to find out more.

Bulletin Board

Apr 1

Pioneer Valley Ballet presents the classic, Cinderella! Join Cinderella as she struggles with her evil family for independence, and travel through the enchanted forest as she is magically changed to appear at the masquerade ball where she meets her prince. Featuring guest artists from The North Atlantic Ballet and Ballet X. Live on stage April 1, 2017 at the Academy of Music in Northampton. Get tickets today at For more information about the Pioneer Valley Ballet company and school, visit

Apr 1

Connecticut Trolley Museum will hold their Opening Day Celebration on April 1st. The celebration includes beer, wine and cocktail sampling from Broad Brook Brewery, Cold Creek Brewery, Lost Acres Vineyard and Joe’s Fine Wine and Spirits from 11am-3pm. “New Earth” and “Just Jeanie” will be performing throughout the day. NY Life will be facilitating their child identification program. Shaker Pines Fire Department will provide Child Safety Passenger Technicians to properly install car seats. Star Wars characters posing for pictures. Additionally, take as many trolley rides as you would like operated by period dressed motormen. All activities and Fire Truck Museum are included with admission. There will be food on site, have lunch and relax.

Spring 2017

Enrolling now! At The Center, an innovative dance studio in Amherst, children spin stories from movement using classical and contemporary dance techniques. Directors Ashley and Caddy Carlisle combine their years of dance training with a special teaching approach that gets kids reading, writing and dancing; connecting, collaborating and creating. It’s a holistic approach to dance. Collaborative dance-making creates community, fosters respectful, constructive communication, builds compassion, effects a recognition of shared humanity and promotes dialogue and connection across difference. For more information visit or email 321 Main Street. Amherst, MA. 413-687-7953.

Fall 2017

Whately Elementary preschool program is now accepting applications for the fall of 2017! They are happy to announce the expansion of their existing program to a full-day, full-week experience for children aged 3-5 years old. Whately offers a small integrated preschool experience serving a mixed age population. They believe in the power of learning through play and their caring and skillful staff are experts in guiding children in their development. Preschoolers enjoy gardening, art, music, literacy, engineering, obstacle courses and so much more. The expanded hours are: Monday-Friday 8:30am-3pm with extended care hours until 5:30pm. For more information, please contact Rhonda at 413-665-1155 ext. 700 or emailing

Mar 24

Open House! The Center Dance Studio in Amherst is excited to introduce its newest program, “Perch & Swoop.” A once-weekly class for toddlers and their caregivers, Perch & Swoop offers the best of The Center’s Pre-K creative movement curriculum, bookended by art activities, a wholesome snack, and play time. Come to a free trial class Friday, March 24th from 9:30am-12pm. Recommended for toddlers 18 months-4 years (siblings under 18 months are welcome to attend). Visit for a full description. For more information, email or call 413-230-1944. 321 Main Street. Amherst, MA.

Hilltown Families Preschool Directory: Are you looking for a preschool that fits your child’s personality and reflects your family’s values? Check out our growing Preschool Directory, covering all four counties in Western Massachusetts, and find the perfect place for your young one! — Have a school you’d like to include in this list? Click here to find out how to have it added.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your summer camp, class, community event, school, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business, 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 Sales & Marketing Manger, Merricka Breuer at

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community-building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish, and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to Program Manager, Courtney Supple at

Summer Camp Directory

Our summer camp guide is up! Check out our featured post, 2017 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a list that will wow and dazzle you! Summer opportunities featured range from music, art, farming, theater, dance, science, nature, sports, speaking, yoga, rock ‘n roll… to traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans! — Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your listing HERE.

March 25-31, 2017


Suggest an Event | Cultural Itineraries | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Storyhour & Playgroups| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

Events Happening in the Hilltowns

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Hilltown Family Variety Show9-10am – HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW: Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at Spring Equinox Episode with Guest DJ, Charity Kahn. 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 nearly 10 years!

Saturday, March 25, 8am-11:30am
March, when daytime temperatures rise but cool to freezing at night, is sugar season. Sap begins to flow and can be harvested for maple syrup. This New England tradition can connect families to local history. Many organizations and individuals like to celebrate this time by gathering for community meals. The Buckland Public Library invites families to enjoy a meal of homemade pancakes with real maple syrup, homemade fruit compote, scrambled eggs, meat or veggie sausage, and home fries. Families can continue their maple-based activities and take this as an opportunity for learning, by paying a visit to a local history museum or sugar shack in addition to community meals. These annual events bring people together and strengthen a connection to nature and to place. Mary Lyon Church. 17 Upper Upper Street. Buckland MA. (Adult $; 6-12 <$; Five and under FREE)

Saturday, March 25, 9:30am-4pm
The ground is thawing, the snow is melting, and the sap is running for maple season! Maple sugaring is a centuries-old tradition in New England, and the seasonal industry remains an important part of the foundation upon which local agricultural is built. On Maple Days at Old Sturbridge Village, attendees have the opportunity to see the entire maple sugaring process, as it was done in early 19th-century rural New England. Costumed historians will also be cooking historically accurate period foods. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. (Adult $$; Ages 3-17 <$; 2 and under FREE)

Saturday, March 25, 10am
Getting books and other items for free through the library is a great way to learn and entertain yourself on a budget. Sometimes, though, you want to own a book so you can mark it up, take a long time reading it, read it more than once, or lend it to a friend. You can support your local library while still finding books to own by purchasing your next round of books at the Greenfield Public Library’s Spring book sale! 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (MARKET/SALE)

Saturday, March 25, 10am-11:30am
Learning a second language is a fun and exciting challenge for the brain. Spanish is the second most widely spoken language in the world. For that reason it is a very practical and enriching second language to learn. Non-native speakers who wish to practice their Spanish are invited to a four-week series of conversation sessions at the Jones Library. Meet other community members and improve your Spanish speaking skills in a relaxed environment. To learn more about the advantages of learning a second language, as well as resources for language learning, read our post: Language Learning Resources in Western MA. Registration is required. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 25, 10am-12pm
Want to engage in a community-wide citizen science project while learning about ecology and computer databases? Hampshire College and the Hitchcock Center invite you to contribute to a record of sightings of animals and plants and other organisms on the Hampshire Campus. Participants will explore a portion of the Hampshire woods, recording sightings during the guided walk, then gather indoors to learn about the database. Participants will also learn how to enter data into the site and use the information already there. These web-based databases can also be used for personal nature projects! Visit the Hitchcock Center website for more information and to register. 413-256-6006. 845 West Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 25, 10am-2pm
Learning about maple sugaring can connect you with New England history and a thriving, current agricultural practice at the same time. Engaging with this topic can also support an interest in Native American history, as the practice of maple sugaring was first cultivated by Native Americans and later adopted by European settlers. Maple Days at the William Cullen Bryant Homestead include guided walks, outdoor sugaring demonstrations, facepainting, and a pancake breakfast! Venture outdoors to see this historical practice in action. 413-532-1631. 207 Bryant Road. Cummington, MA. (<$)

Saturday, March 25, 10:30am
Understanding seeds opens up a new world of learning and doing. Gardening can be a way to grow your own food, beautify your environment, connect to the Earth, and learn! Master gardener Margaret Larson will be leading a Seed Starting Basics workshop at the Gaylord Memorial Library. Attendees will learn about seeds’ anatomy, the difference between heirloom vs hybrid seeds, what seeds need in order to germinate, which ones need special attention, and what equipment is required. With this basic information, new gardeners will be able to go forth and try planting on their own, just in time for the warm weather. 413-538-5047. 47 College Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 25, 10:30am-11:30am
You probably know that maple syrup comes from trees. But how exactly? And why at this time of year? As the temperatures rise during the day and cool down to freezing at night, sap begins to flow through the sapwood of the sugar maples. These native trees are tapped during this time of temperature fluctuation to capture their sap that will eventually be boiled down into delicious sweet maple syrup. If your child has a sweet tooth and a scientific sense of curiosity about the world, this can be a great time of year for learning. A STEM workshop for kids up to age seven at the Ashfield Public Library will teach children how maple flows at this time of year. Participants will have the chance to taste some maple syrup. 413-628-4414. 344 Main Street. Ashfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 25, 11am
The 2016 stop-motion fantasy, Kubo and The Two Strings (rated PG) uses magical elements and an exciting quest to demonstrate the power of storytelling and music. Kubo lives a simple life, making living storytelling, until he accidentally summons a spirit from his past. He must go on a journey to battle monsters and reunite his family, using a magical musical instrument! This animated film is set in Japan and features a score of original music. Families are invited to gather in PJs with pillows and blankets at the Whately Library to screen this film. Younger kids can learn from the thematic importance of family in the film, while older children can appreciate and possibly be inspired by the film’s impressive animation. 413-665-2170. 202 Chestnut Plain Road. Whately, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 25, 11am
When you read novels written by local authors, you can sometimes catch glimpses of places you recognize or local themes. Author Theodore Cromack’s new book Wild Justice is set in Western Massachusetts, and was written in part at the Greenfield Public Library’s weekly Writers’ Lunch workshop. Get inspired by the success of a local author and learn about this novel about trouble in a university town and the college security guard caught in the middle of it. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 25, 11am
Why do people decorate eggs in the Springtime? In the Christian tradition, eggs symbolize the empty tomb and Jesus’ resurrection. Eggs are also associated with birth, fitting for Springtime when life is planted, blooms, and grows. Egg decorating in general is an ancient tradition dating back tens of thousands of years! This activity can get kids working together, expressing themselves creatively, and creating traditions as a family. Kids are invited to the Granby Library to decorate eggs with dyes, stickers, markers, paints, crayons. Bring your own hard boiled eggs; other supplies will be provided. 413-467-3320. 297 East State Street. Granby, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 25, 12:30pm
Amadeus is a 1979 play by Peter Shaffer which tells a fictionalized account of the lives of composers Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Antonio Salieri. The play utilizes music by Mozart, Salieri, and other composers. Lovers of theater and classical music can view an HD film screening of this play performed by the National Theatre in London, at Amherst Cinema. This screening is part of Amherst Cinema’s “International Performances in HD” series. 413- 253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (<$)

Saturday, March 25, 1pm-2pm
The United States has the highest prison population in the world. Whether we realize it or not, incarceration has a huge impact on our society. For those on the outside of prison walls, this can be an invisible problem, as we literally do not see the millions of people in this country who are incarcerated. Come to the Emily Williston Memorial Library to see a performance by women who have participated in “Voices from Inside,” an organization that offers writing workshops for women who are or have been incarcerated. Attendees will hear the personal stories of Western Massachusetts women who were formerly incarcerated, gaining an individualized personal perspective on this national issue.
413-527-1031. 9 Park Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 25, 2pm-4pm
“Chiaroscuro” is a painting technique which arose during the Renaissance and remains an important artistic technique today. This type of artwork incorporates strong light and shadow contrasts through three-dimensional objects, a principle which is also important to photography. Winter months can be the perfect time to explore such contrasts of shapes and shadows. To learn more about these concepts and apply them to your own photography, come to a winter photography workshop at Bartholomew’s Cobble. An expert photographer will take participants on a guided walk to enjoy the outdoor views of the cobble and capture them through photographs. 413-229-8600. 117 Cooper Hill Road. Sheffield, MA. (Non member $; member <$)

Saturday, March 25, 2pm and 7:30pm
Come and step through the door of an old wardrobe where two imaginative children, Lucy and Edmund, will lead you on a magical adventure filled with fantasy and wonder. Based on the classical novel by C.S. Lewis, Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, ignites curiosity while providing insight about the emotional climate of childhood during World War II. Come experience the weaving of traditional English folklore, Greek mythology, and 20th century literature that has made The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe a favorite among audiences of all ages! Come 45 minutes early to this performance at Bay Path University and enjoy entertainment for the whole family. Pre-show activities will include building your own lion mask, creating a shield for fighting evil, coloring in your favorite characters, and hearing an abridged retelling of this beloved C.S. Lewis tale. Mills Theater. Longmeadow, MA. ($)

Saturday, March 25, 3pm
The United States has the highest prison population in the world. Whether we realize it or not, incarceration has a huge impact on our society. The number of incarcerated women has been rising significantly for decades as well. This discussion, “Women, Crime and Justice: Mass Incarceration and Mothering,” at the Westhampton Public Library will illuminate issues related to this crisis. Participants will discuss the disproportionate numbers of women of color and poor women who are incarcerated, as well as the impact on children whose parents are incarcerated. This event is occurring in conjunction with the Holyoke-Hamptons community-wide reading of Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 25, 4pm-10pm
“Music and Diversity III” is a multi-media performance festival celebrating a range of theatrical and musical work by people of diverse backgrounds, cultures and ethnicities. The afternoon will begin with Grupo Folklorico, a children’s dance troupe, presenting traditional Mexican and South American dances. At 4:30 audiences will see selections from Tenderness, a multi-lingual performance project which explores the difficult topics of violence, mass incarceration, and the school-to-prison-pipeline through talented acting. The evening will include a community meal as well as musical performances by Moonlight and Morning Star, as well as Tang Sauce and DJ Stealth. Shea Theater Arts Center. This is a great event for anyone interested in multi-cultural music, dance, and theater. 71 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (DONATION)

Saturday, March 25, 5:30pm-7:30pm
Traditional music from cultures besides your own can connect you to that culture through their lyrical narratives and melodic styles. Katherine First and The Kitchen Party play traditional celtic music, as well as old-time American and bluegrass songs. Hear them play as you enjoy dinner or a snack at Bread Euphoria. 413-268-7757. 206 Main Street. Haydenville, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, March 25, 7pm
Attending local music performances can give you a sense of community as you meet the solo artists and group performers writing and playing music in your area. “All Cooped Up” at Great Falls Discovery Center will feature performances by a dozen groups and individuals playing a mix of folk, rock, country, Celtic, jazz, swing, blues, and more! You’ll hear original compositions as well as covers of traditional songs. Visit the Coop Concerts website for more information. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (DONATION)

Saturday, March 25, 7:30pm
The harp is an ancient stringed instrument which dates back as early as 3500 BC. Harps were popular in Europe during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, but fell out of popularity with many types of harps no longer being used. The harp has historically been used across many continents and cultures, and can be an essential element to certain traditional genres of music. James Ruff plays the wire harp in his performances of early opera pieces, contemporary works, as well as early Gaelic and Scottish songs. You can hear the harp live and discover its role in Gaelic and Scottish music by attending his performance at the McCulloch Auditorium. Mount Holyoke College. College Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

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Sunday, March 26, 2017

Hilltown Family Variety Show7-8am – FAMILY RADIO: Valley Free Radio (WXOJ-LP 103.3FM Northampton, MA) airs encores of 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, to hear a rebroadcast of a favorite Doo-Wop Episode with Guest DJs, Michael & Tony Napolitano of Preschool of Rock. Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcast anytime – click here to see over 9 years of archived shows.

Sunday, March 26, 9:30am-4pm
The ground is thawing, the snow is melting, and the sap is running for maple season! Maple sugaring is a centuries-old tradition in New England, and the seasonal industry remains an important part of the foundation upon which local agricultural is built. On Maple Days at Old Sturbridge Village, attendees have the opportunity to see the entire maple sugaring process, as it was done in early 19th-century rural New England. Costumed historians will also be cooking historically accurate period foods. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. (Adult $$; Ages 3-17 <$; 2 and under FREE)

Sunday, March 26, 11am and 2pm
Come and step through the door of an old wardrobe where two imaginative children, Lucy and Edmund, will lead you on a magical adventure filled with fantasy and wonder. Based on the classical novel by C.S. Lewis, Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, ignites curiosity while providing insight about the emotional climate of childhood during World War II. Come experience the weaving of traditional English folklore, Greek mythology, and 20th century literature that has made The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe a favorite among audiences of all ages! Come 45 minutes early to this performance at Bay Path University and enjoy entertainment for the whole family. Pre-show activities will include building your own lion mask, creating a shield for fighting evil, coloring in your favorite characters, and hearing an abridged retelling of this beloved C.S. Lewis tale. Mills Theater. Longmeadow, MA. ($)

Sunday, March 26, 1pm
Trends come and go, but there are some topics which fascinate children across generations. One such topic is dinosaurs! Extinct species tell us a lot about evolution, biology, and the history of the Earth. Dinosaurs are particularly interesting because of their, in some cases, massive size. The Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association’s family learning exhibit, “Reading the Rocky Book of the Past,” includes two simulated 19th century cabinets (precursors to today’s museums), provides hands-on activities, and tells the story of how dinosaur tracks were discovered in the Connecticut River Valley. Families are invited to the Holyoke Heritage State Park Visitor’s Center to learn from this exhibit and enjoy a screening of the film Dinosaur Train which teaches audiences about fossils and rock formation. Refreshments and dinosaur-themed party favors included. 413-534-1723. 221 Appleton Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, March 26, 2pm
Sometimes art galleries and collections are curated based on the tastes of an individual, and can provide historical insight into the man or woman behind the collection. The Peggy Guggenheim Collection, a museum in Venice, is a modern art museum comprised mainly of Guggenheim’s personal art collection. In addition to collecting art, heiress Peggy Guggenheim spent time with artists such as Samuel Beckett, Max Ernst, Jackson Pollock, Alexander Calder, and Marcel Duchamp. Learn about her life and her impact on modern art movements by viewing the 2015 film Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict at the Yiddish Book Center. 413-256-4900. 1021 West Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, March 26, 2pm
“Shays’ Rebellion was an armed uprising in Massachusetts (mostly in and around Springfield) during 1786 and 1787. Revolutionary War veteran Daniel Shays led four thousand rebels (called Shaysites) in an uprising against perceived economic and civil rights injustices. In 1787, the rebels marched on the United States’ Armory at Springfield in an unsuccessful attempt to seize its weaponry and overthrow the government.” Tom Goldscheider will be giving a talk on this historical event, at the Goshen Town Hall. Call 413-268-7120 with any questions. Goshen, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, March 26, 2pm
The Townshend Acts placed taxes on items such as glass, lead, paints, paper, and tea in America, the revenue of which benefitted English rule. Most people are familiar with the rebellions which ensued, including the Boston Massacre. Historic Deerfield is hosting a winter lecture series to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the Townshend Acts through an exploration of the politics of tea, consumer culture, and resistance. This final lecture, “‘Earthen Ware, made in Boston:’ Benjamin Leigh and John Allman’s Revolutionary Partnership,” will be presented by Angelika Kuettner, Associate Curator of Ceramics at Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. 413-774-5581. 80 Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, March 26, 2pm-3pm
Ecological crises teach scientists a lot about biology, as species under pressure of negative external factors will adapt to their circumstances in fascinating ways. 2016 was a severe drought year for Massachusetts. Aquatic biologist Paula Packard studied the ways in which aquatic plants adapted to drought in areas of Massachusetts including the Quabbin reservoir. You can hear her discuss biology, drought, and species preservation at the Quabbin Visitor Center. 413-323-7221. 485 Ware Road. Belchertown, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, March 26, 3pm
“Ukiyo-e” is a genre of artwork which originated in 17th century Japan. The term ukiyo-e translates in English as “pictures of the floating world.” These works, taking the form of woodblock prints or paintings, depict subjects such as beautiful women, sumo wrestlers, landscapes, and scenes from history (Ukiyo-e Wikipedia). University of Pennsylvania Professor of History of Art, Julie Nelson Davis, will be giving a lecture on ukiyo-e at the Clark Art Institute. This lecture coincides with the exhibition, Japanese Impressions: Color Woodblock Prints from the Rodbell Family Collection, on view through April 2 in the Clark Center. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, March 26, 7pm
The 2015 dramaAKA Nadia (not rated) educates viewers on the effects of the Israeli Palestinian conflict, from the perspective of a young Arab woman and her love affair with a PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) activist. After moving to England, her lover is caught, and she obtains a false passport, embarking on a new, secret life. Amherst Cinema will be playing this film as part of the Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival. The film is in Arabic and Hebrew with English subtitles. 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (<$)

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Monday, March 27, 2017

Storyhour & Playgroups: East Longmeadow, Pelham & Whately

Monday, March 27, 5:30pm-6:30pm
It’s often easy to be an effective communicator during low-stress conversations. During conflict, however, emotions can have a negative impact on our ability to accurately and tactfully convey information. Sharon Coleman, a clinical psychologist, mindfulness practitioner, and leadership consultant, will be offering a workshop: “Conflict as a Doorway to Radical Connection,” to help participants become better communicators. This workshop will explore topics such as nonviolent communication and mindfulness. These principles could help individuals at home, at work, and in all types of relationships. Mason Library. 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

Monday, March 27, 7pm
What is the difference between poetry and song lyrics? Bob Dylan, whose lyrics have been widely regarded as poetic, received the pulitzer prize for literature in October 2016. He is the first musician ever awarded this honor. Those who wish to discuss Dylan’s lyrics and this controversial decision can come to a poetry discussion group at the Forbes Library. This ongoing group will meet on Mondays through May 15 to discuss various topics related to poetry. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Storyhour & Playgroups: Agawam, Amherst, Belchertown, Cheshire, Easthampton, Florence, Gill, Great Barrington, Greenfield, Hatfiled, Huntington, Lanesborough, Lee, Ludlow, New Salem, North Adams, Sheffield, Sunderland, Turners Falls, Ware & West Springfield.

Tuesday, March 28, 6pm-7:30pm
Want to feel supported and understood as a parent? Join a parenting discussion! Parents of children ages birth through eight are invited to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee to take a break and discuss the joys and challenges of parenting. This group will have three sessions on March 28, April 4 and 11. Registration is required via the Collaborative for Educational Services website. For more information call 413-586-4900 x 5568. This session will take place at the Ware Family Center. 49 Church Street. Ware, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, March 28, 6:30pm
You’ve heard of story hours for kids, but what about adults? The Sunderland Public Library is bringing the joy of oral storytelling to adult audiences with a Short Story Series, in which local actors will give dramatic readings of classic tales. On March 28, the library will be celebrating the coming Spring agricultural season with readings which explore themes of food and taste. Linda Tardif will read “Sorry Fugu,” by T.C. Boyle, and Troy David Mercier will read “Taste,” by Roald Dahl. 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, March 28, 7pm
Astronomy is a fascinating area of study for people who enjoy both complex mathematics, and the beauty and mystery of the sky! The 2015 film Star Men (not rated) follows four exceptional astronomers as they celebrate and discuss their 50 years of work and friendship. Screen this film at Amherst Cinema to learn about both astronomy and United States history. This event is part of the ongoing Science on Screen program and will feature an introduction by Dr. Suzan Edwards, Professor of Astronomy at Smith College. 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (<$)

Tuesday, March 28, 7pm-8:30pm
According to a 2015 study from Common Sense Media, teenagers spend an average of almost nine hours per day looking at a screen. Parents have been debating the merits and detrimental effects of television since its inception. Parents today, though, have to make many more decisions about technology in their households. Screens in the form of phones, tablets and computers, are now both portable and often individualized as opposed to a shared television which is easier to monitor. The personalized nature of social media also opens vulnerable teens up to bullying and other interpersonal problems even after they get home from school. The documentary Screenagers: Growing Up in the Digital Age provides parents with useful information on teen technology use, as well as resources and tips for navigating this parenting issue. Parents are invited to a screening of the film followed by a discussion about teens and social media, video games, academics and internet overuse, at Easthampton High School. 70 Williston Avenue. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, March 28, 7:30pm
When European colonists first came to America, all brick products were imported. In the early 17th century, this importation ceased and brick kilns emerged in areas such as Boston, Massachusetts. In Pelham and surrounding towns, potters and brick-makers used clay for utensils and home products up through the 19th century. Clay was the basis for several colonial industries. Learning about clay working can be an interesting lens through which to learn about New England businesses and everyday colonial life. Rick Hamelin, who has researched the Massachusetts clay industry since 1985 and is a Master Potter from Warren, MA, will be giving a talk on these topics at the Pelham Library. “Pottery, Tile and Brick-Making: A History and A Primer” will give audiences insight into local and New England history. 413-253-0657. 2 South Valley Road. Pelham, MA. (FREE)

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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Storyhour & Playgroups: Amherst, Athol, Becket, Belchertown, Bernardston, Cummington, Deerfield, East Longmeadow, Erving, Granby, Greenfield, Huntington, Leverett, Monson, New Marlborough, North Adams, Northampton, Sheffield, Shelburne Falls, South Deerfield, Springfield, Turners Falls, Wendell, West Springfield, and Williamsburg.

Wednesday, March 29, 1pm-2pm
Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual practice which dates back to the fifth century BC and originates in India. Why has yoga become such a globally widespread, popular activity? Yoga can help you build your physical strength and flexibility, connect you to the present moment, and relieve stress. No matter what you wish to get out of your yoga practice, attending a beginner’s course is a great way to get started. The Storrs Library is offering a beginner’s yoga class on Wednesdays March 29, April 5, 12, and 19. These classes will get you started with basic poses and also teach you how to use the online lesson streaming service Hoopla so you can continue this practice from home. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, March 29, 5pm
Spelling aloud exercises working memory in order for spellers to put letters in the correct order. This is the same core executive function we utilize when doing mental math. The 17th Annual Northampton Adult Spelling Bee challenges adults to use these mental capacities, while supporting local schools. Folks who love etymology and Greek and Latin root words will enjoy trying to use these clues to figure out the spelling of a variety of words. The evening kicks off with a community meal at 5pm, followed by the spelling bee at 6pm. Visit the Northampton Education Foundation website for more information. The fundraiser will take place at JFK Middle School. 100 Bridge Road. Florence, MA. ($ – $$)

Wednesday, March 29, 6pm-7pm
Children are highly sensitive. Some seek out stimulation and some are overwhelmed by it. For sensory-seekers, messy activities are a blast. For sensory-avoiders, these activities can be challenging but can also help children learn to integrate sensory information and become more comfortable with a wider array of experiences. Young children who are messy, sensory-seekers will love Ooey Gooey Art Night! Young children and their families will be gathering for messy, hands-on, collaborative art activities at The Williamstown Youth Center. These activities are best suited for children ages two to eight. 66 School Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, March 29, 6pm-7pm
Writing can be one way to bring awareness to an important social issue. Author Katherine Kraver has visited areas such as Jordan and Haiti and seen firsthand the plight of refugee children around the globe. She will be reading from her newest book, The Boy with the Red Shoes, discussing her travels and the writing process, at the East Springfield Branch Library. The reading will also include a slideshow and crafts. One dollar from the sale of each of her books will be donated to The Red Cross to help children. 413-263-6828 ext 422. 21 Osborne Terrace. East Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, March 29, 6:30pm-8pm
Muriel Rukeyser once posed this challenge: “What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open.” The Powder Keg Sessions is a women’s writing workshop at the Ramsdell Library, where women come together to share their truths. The workshops are run by Suzi Banks Baum, an author, artist, and mother who teaches classes on nurturing the habit of daily writing. Come see what writing can do for you, and what your writing can do for others. 413- 274-3738. 1087 Main Street. Housatonic, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, March 29, 7pm
How many New England flowers can you identify? Photographer Ted Watt will be walking participants through the seasons with his images of local wildflowers. You can attend this talk to learn about these wildflowers’ histories and biological adaptations. Attending this presentation at the Hitchcock Center is a great way to get excited about the coming warm seasons. After attending, you can keep an eye out and see if you can identify these species of plants in your own neighborhood. Visit the Hitchcock Center website for more information and to register. 413-256-6006. 845 West Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

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Thursday, March 30, 2017

Storyhour & Playgroups: Agawam, Amherst, Athol, Belchertown, East Longmeadow, Florence, Gill, Greenfield, Hatfield, Huntington, Lee, Lenox, Millers Falls, Montague, Northampton, Sheffield, South Hadley, and Turners Falls.

Thursday, March 30, 8:30am-10am
Though quite unwanted and dangerous to our fragile ecosystems, the numerous invasive species that have become part of the local landscape can serve as a community-based resource for learning. Hardy Kiwi is a locally invasive species which kills all other vegetation as it spreads. Native to Japan, Korea, Northern China, and Russian Siberia, hardy kiwi has been cultivated commercially in the United States since the early 1900s and has only recently begun spreading dangerously in the Northeast. You can help remove Hardy Kiwi from the area around Burbank Park. Volunteers meet weekly on Thursdays at Burbank Park on Onota Lake, off Valentine Road, at the little parking area on the east side, just north of Lakeway Drive. Call 413-230-7321 if you are planning to attend. Pittsfield, MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Thursday, March 30, 5:30pm-7:30pm
Who inspires you in our community? Women and girls are invited to meet local leaders and learn about leadership development opportunities at Springfield City Library’s leadership panel. This popular program, “My Beloved Springfield: Honoring Pioneering Librarians and Women’s Leadership Panel,” supports placemaking by educating attendees about the inspiring work being done in our community. It can also help young girls and young women develop career readiness skills, while more experienced women can come with specific goals and questions. The event will be held at the Mason Square Branch Library. 413-263-6828. 765 State Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, March 30, 6pm-7pm
Did you know that Koreans sometimes say “kimchi” when they get their picture taken, the same way that Americans say “cheese?” Come to a Fermented Foods Workshop to learn all about the origins, cultural significance, and health benefits of kimchi. Participants will learn how to make kimchi, from finding the right vegetables to the process of canning and fermenting. The first ten people to register will leave with their own jar of kimchi! Call 413-663-7588 ext. 28 for more information. UNO Community Center. 157 River Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, March 30, 7:30pm
Kuruma Ningyo or “cart puppets” are a style of Japanese puppetry which draws from classical Japanese literature and religious stories. Unlike many forms of puppetry in the United States, Kuruma Ningyo is entertainment for people of all ages, not associated strongly with children. American puppeteer Tom Lee and Japanese Master Puppeteer Koryu Nishikawa V will be performing this style of puppetry in their show Shank’s Mare at UMass Amherst. This multi-media performance combines live music and video production with traditional Japanese puppetry for a unique, cross-cultural experience. Bowker Auditorium. 100 Holdsworth Way. Amherst, MA. ($; Five college students and 17 and under <$)

Thursday, March 30, 7:30pm
Living in proximity to the five colleges offers the opportunity to see brand new, contemporary plays performed for the first time. The University of Massachusetts Amherst’s New Play Lab will be debuting Life Defying Acts by Pam Dickler on March 30. Play Labs allow the audience to participate in the sculpting of a theatrical work, as audience members are asked to provide feedback on these brand new performances. These new and in-progress performances are offered at a low price. Life Defying Acts tells the story of two sisters struggling with America’s epidemic problem of juvenile depression and suicide. Attending this performance could appeal to anyone with an interest in learning about psychology, mental illness, and contemporary theater. The Curtain Theater. Fine Arts Center. 413-545-2511. 151 Presidents Drive. Amherst, MA. (<$)

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Friday, March 31, 2017

Storyhour & Playgroups: Amherst, Belchertown, Cummington, East Longmeadow, Easthampton, Florence, Granby, Great Barrington, Greenfield, Hadley, Housatonic, Longmeadow, Monson, Northampton, Pelham, Shutesbury, South Hadley, Stockbridge, and Sunderland.

Friday, March 31, 11:30 to 1:20pm
Ice skating, whether indoors or outdoors, is a fun physical activity for kids and adults. Families are invited to skate at the Mullins Center at UMass Amherst on Fridays in March and April. Check the Mullins Center website for a full calendar and details. To learn about the 3,000 year old practice of ice skating as well as other local resources, read our post, Ice Skating in Western MA. The Mullins Center rink accepts cash or check only. Governors Drive. Amherst, MA. (Child <$)

Friday, March 31, 8:30pm
Laughter really is medicine! It has real, physiological effects on the body. When you laugh, it your body instantly reduces levels of cortisol, a hormone associated with stress response, and increases levels of endorphins, pain relieving neuropeptides. Parents who want to have a relaxing night out should consider attending Northampton Area Booster Club’s comedy night! This dinner and performance at The Log Cabin is a fundraiser for the Northampton High School athletics department. Visit the Hamp Highlights website for more information. 500 Easthampton Road. Holyoke, MA. ($$$)

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Hilltown Families’ list of Weekly Suggested Events is supported in part by a grant from the Amherst, Ashfield, Bernardston, Chester, Chesterfield, Conway, Erving, Heath, Holyoke, Ludlow, Montague, Montgomery, Pelham, Rowe, Russell, Shutesbury, South Hadley, Springfield, Ware, and Warwick Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.




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