Suggested Events for January 27th – February 2nd, 2018

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“I look forward to this every winter. Chases the winter blues away! Thanks for organizing.” (Deerfield, MA Participant) – Join your neighbors for the 10th Annual Handmade Valentine Swap. Sign up before Feb. 1st HERE!

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program, or service-learning opportunity 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.

Saturday Morning Dance Party, Feb. 10th

Hilltown Families and the Flywheel Arts Collective are continuing the beloved Saturday Morning Music Party series with a breakfast bash featuring food, dancing, and diversions for kids! Beginning the series with a New Year’s Day Music Party that was our best party to date, we will be continuing on Saturday, February 10, from 10am-12noon at Flywheel Arts Collective in Easthampton’s old Town Hall! As always, we’ll have a free breakfast of fresh pancakes, juice, and fruit. After the breakfast, the kids (and parents!) can join DJ Youthelectronix for the “best ever dance party before noon.” Save on the babysitter and shake off the winter blues with a Morning Music Dance Party! These Morning Music Parties are a fundraiser for both Flywheel & Hilltown Families, with a “pay what you can” admission to attend with your family. So much cheaper than a night out on the town and just as much fun! Click HERE for more info.

Hilltown Families’ Annual Handmade Valentine Swap!

It’s that time of the year again for the Hilltown Families Annual Handmade Valentine Swap! For the past nine years Hilltown Families has coordinated a community Handmade Valentine Swap — and we’re doing it again! Making handmade valentines is a great way to push against the commercialization of yet another holiday, while being creative with your family and friends. JOIN US! It’s free to sign up and open to all families in western Massachusetts! Last year our community generated over 1,550 handmade valentines! Let’s do it again!

Bulletin Board

Open House Jan 28

Join the Smith College Center for Early Childhood Education at Fort Hill for an Open House on Sunday, January 28th from 3-4:30pm. Tour the school and meet classroom teachers and the music and visual arts studio teachers. Inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach, the program emphasizes a strong sense of community, learning through in-depth projects, and the arts. Now offering three-, four-, and five-day schedules in all age groups. Currently accepting applications for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers for summer and fall 2018. Tours are available Monday through Friday, and the school is located at 28 Lyman Road in Northampton, MA. To make an appointment or for more information, please contact cece@smith.edu or 413-585-3290.

Jan 27

The Common School: Community, collaboration, creativity, social justice, inclusivity, environmental education- Come learn how these words are put into action at their Open House, Saturday, January 27, from 10am-12noon. Featuring: Their own Laurie Davidson of Mucho Gusto Spanish at 11:45am. Play in their classrooms, meet their teachers, and chat with current parents. Light refreshments provided. Questions? Contact Director of Admissions, Dana Kadish at outreach@commonschool.org or visit www.commonschool.org.

Jan 27

Parenting is hard work! Guadalupe Healing Arts is here to help with weekly Saturday classes in Amherst starting January 27 for children ages 2-6. Spend a sweet moment with your child and other parents in a safe and nurturing space. Learn fun and simple tools such as breathing, inspiring yoga stories, games and yoga movements that can help you and your child manage stress, improve the immune system and help with body awareness. These classes will help you set up a daily practice that you and your child can do together at home. Registration is required as space is limited. Location: 20 Dickinson Street in Amherst, MA. Email info@guadalupehealingarts.com for a coupon to a trial class. For more info visit guadalupehealingarts.com.

Feb 3

Smith College Campus School Open House. Prospective kindergarten through grade 6 students and their parents are invited to an open house on Saturday, February 3, from 9:30-11:30am at the school (Gill Hall, 33 Prospect Street, Northampton, MA 01063). Tour the school, meet teachers, staff, and parents. For more information contact the admission office at 413-585-3270 or visit their website, www.smith.edu/SCCS.

Feb 3-10

WinterFest Amherst 2018 has expanded to 8 Days and 7 Nights of winter fun and celebrations. Running from February 3 to February 10, 2018, this fun-filled winter-themed festival will bring together the community to celebrate the joys of winter. On February 3 WinterFest Amherst gets started with events including Story Time at the Jones Library, Luminaria on the Amherst Town Commons, WinterFest Challenge Cup hockey game and much more! WinterFest ends with Fireworks on Saturday, February 10, at the Grand Finale Event from 1-6 pm at the Cherry Hill Golf Course in North Amherst. Check out over 25 events that have already been scheduled on the Amherst Leisure Services website, www.lsse.org or find us on Facebook by searching ‘Winterfest Amherst.’

Feb 4

Sunday, Feb. 4th: The Center School Admissions Open House, 2-4pm. The Center School is a preschool – 8th grade progressive school, serving Hampshire & Franklin counties. Come explore the school for a birds-of-prey themed Admissions Open House. Classrooms will be open & teachers will be on hand with bird-related activities planned for kids of all ages. Come early to enjoy a live presentation with raptor rehabilitator Tom Ricardi from 1-2pm. Meet Center School staff, parents, & students and learn what a Center School education is all about. Light refreshments available. The Center School has been offering rigorous education for deep thinkers & creative spirits for more than 35 years and is accepting applications for all ages, for fall of 2018.

Feb 19-23

Looking for something fun and creative for your kids during the February break? Check out Valley Performance Playground’s February Vacation Camp with Sarah Marcus and Felicia Sloin! This one-week camp runs Monday, February 19 – Friday, February 23 from 9am-3pm and will feature theater games, singing, drumming, movement, and fun times with creative friends for ages 7-11. Valley Performance Playground’s February Vacation Camp takes place at the Lander Grinspoon Academy at 257 Prospect Street in Northampton, MA. The cost for the week is $250. For more information, email sarah@valleyperformanceplayground.com and check out their other classes and camps online: www.valleyperformanceplayground.com.

Accepting applications for fall 2018. The Bement School founded in 1925 and located in Deerfield is a co-educational junior boarding and day school serving 220 students in kindergarten through grade 9. At Bement, the innovative educational approach and rigorous curriculum prepare students well for competitive secondary schools and to tackle the challenges of life. Students work hard, learn to overcome obstacles, persevere with joy and optimism, develop a strong sense of self, and find ways to help others. Children and adults at Bement work together to create a community where all members cultivate mutual respect and understanding within the school and the world. For info on how to arrange a campus visit, call 413-774-4209. www.bement.org.

Add your class

Hilltown Families has put together an After-School Classes & Enrichment Programs Directory of classes and programs happening across Western Massachusetts throughout the school year. Our community is rich in learning opportunities to supplement the interests of children, teens, and life-long learners and our directory makes it easier to find these gems while connecting families with resources that support their interests and education. — Have a class or program you’d like to include in our directory? Click here to find out how to have it added. New and updated opportunities are added throughout the year.

Add your school

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 us at at sales@hilltownfamilies.org.

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 info@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
January 27th – February 2nd, 2018

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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, January 27th, 2018

Click HERE to discover classes. Click HERE to find out about other community events. Click HERE to leave a comment about upcoming 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, The Hilltown Family Variety Show brings you Children’s Songs from Around the World, with Guest DJ, Priscilla Ahn! Priscilla is a singer-songwriter who recently debuted her first album for children and their parents. In this episode, she shares some of her favorite songs from places around the world (real and imaginary). No matter the language or culture, Priscilla believes we can all connect through enjoying good music together. 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 select from over 10 years of archived shows!

Saturday, January 27, 9am
RAILROAD HOBBY SHOW
Did you know that the largest railroad hobby show in North America happens right here in West Springfield? For 50 years local hobby train enthusiasts have been gathering to swap parts and talk shop. What began as a small community gathering, meeting on the campus of Umass Amherst, has since grown to an annual event regularly featuring up to 25,000 attendees and occupying three buildings at the Eastern States Exhibition! This event has also won several awards for its efforts in promoting interest in model trains. So, if you’d like to learn more about model trains you really can’t ask for a better event. Eastern States Exposition. 1305 Memorial Ave, West Springfield, MA ($)

Saturday, January 27, 9:30am-12:30pm
PRESCHOOL FAIR
Have you got wee babies at home? Looking for information and resources about local preschool opportunities? Come on down to the annual Preschool Fair and Family Fun Day! Different preschool from around our region will have tables with information and there will lots of fun arts and crafts activities. While you’re at it, you can check out the tag sale and bake sale, benefiting the Amherst Family Center! UMass Student Union Ballroom. Amherst, MA (FREE)

Saturday, January 27, 10am-12pm
STEM/FASHION
What could be a cooler fashion accessory than a display of colorful blinking lights! This workshop will teach you how to create fun wearable electronics using open source hardware programs. Umass computer science professor Rui Wang will show you how to make LED displays that react to light and temperature changes, electronic boards that can sing a song, and lots more. This event is appropriate for children ages 11 and above. You will also have the opportunity to bring home your wearable electronics for a fee of $20. For more information and to register for this free workshop, please visit Holyoke Codes. 100 Bigelow Street, Holyoke, MA (FREE)

Saturday, January 27, 10am-12pm
OPEN HOUSE
The Common School: Community, collaboration, creativity, social justice, inclusivity, environmental education- Come learn how these words are put into action at their Open House, Saturday, January 27, from 10am-12noon. Featuring: Their own Laurie Davidson of Mucho Gusto Spanish at 11:45am. Play in their classrooms, meet their teachers, and chat with current parents. Light refreshments provided. Questions? Contact Director of Admissions, Dana Kadish at outreach@commonschool.org or visit www.commonschool.org.

Saturday, January 27, 10am-3pm
WORKSHOP/GRAPHIC DESIGN
Are you a graphic designer or a digital artist, looking to learn more about the latest developments in design software? This free day long workshop, hosted by Amherst Media, will focus on the open source design program Inkscape. In the morning, you will have a chance to upload a drawing into the program and learn how to get comfortable using the interface and the afternoon will be an open work session. This event is a great way to add a new design tool to your repertoire! 246 College Street, Amherst, MA (FREE)

Saturday, January 27, 10am-5pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES/STEM
Come celebrate the opening of the new exhibition “Human Plus” at the Springfield Science Museum. This hands on exhibit focuses on the innovative ways that technology and engineering work together to benefit people’s lives through the development of assistive technology and prosthetics. The museum will be kicking off this exhibit with an entire day of fun STEM themed activities, workshops, presentations, and even a sing along! If you have ever wanted to build your own robot, design a “Rube Goldberg” machine, or learn how long the human intestine is, you won’t want to miss this exciting event. Springfield Science Museum. 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA (FREE W/MUSEUM ADMISSION)

Saturday, January 27, 10am-2pm
WINTER FESTIVAL/PLACEMAKING
In Scandinavia, where the sun barely rises at all during the winter and the temperature plunges, people know that the best way to keep the winter blues at bay is to go out and enjoy life no matter how inhospitable the elements seem. This Saturday, bundle up and get out of the house for a spell at the Winter Carnival at Look Park. Get your blood pumping with a little sledding and frolicking in the snow. Or play a few carnival games and get your face painted! This is just the kind of event that will help you forget that Spring is still months away. Look Memorial Park.
300 N Main St, Florence, MA (FREE)

Saturday, January 27, 10am-12:30pm
SOCIAL JUSTICE/WORKSHOP
Are you interested in learning more about social justice activism? The Sojourner Truth School for Social Change Leadership is dedicated to teaching the next generation of activists and training leaders for the struggles ahead. This experimental workshop will focus on asking participants to work together to imagine ways to create lasting social change, through passion, patience, and working together. If you want to learn about how you can make a difference in your community, this is the event for you! Holyoke Public Library Central Library. 335 Maple St, Holyoke, MA (FREE)

Saturday, January 27, 11am-12pm
FAMILY CONCERT/FOLK MUSIC
David Grover is a beloved local musician, who has played with legendary folk musicians Arlo Guthrie and Pete Seeger! Now come listen to Grover playing his popular children’s music at this free concert at the Berkshire Theatre Group. This is a great opportunity to build a love for music in young children. Exposing children to music has been found to benefit cognitive and social skills. It even can boost literacy, by helping children become more aware of words and sounds. To order tickets call 413-997-4444. Berkshire Theatre Group. 111 South St, Pittsfield, MA (FREE)

Saturday, January 27, 2-3pm
SKILLSHARE/SOAP MAKING
Learning to provide yourself with necessities is a great feeling. This is a way to save money and build your own resilience and self sufficiency. You can take pride in knowing that you have the skills to make the things that you use. This workshop will teach participants to make their own soap! This soap making process does not involve the use of harmful chemicals and the soaps can be used the very next day. Customize your soap with essential oils, glitter, and bright colors. You can even stick a rubber ducky into your soap. For more information and to register, please visit Sunderland Public Library. Sunderland Public Library. 20 School Street, Sunderland, MA (FREE)

Saturday, January 27, 5-7pm
PLACEMAKING/BONFIRE
Colrain is a charming little hilltown on the border of Vermont, first settled in 1735. The town, originally settled by immigrants from Ireland and Scotland, was named after Lord Coleraine, a member of the Irish nobility. Local lore has it that the Lord was so pleased by having his name given to this beautiful and scenic town that he sent a gorgeous new bell to be used in the town meeting house. Unfortunately, the bell never arrived and according to legend, it was sold to a church in Boston en route by the rascal to whom it was entrusted. Come celebrate the small but vibrant community of Colrain at this town bonfire. Come meet your neighbors and get to know your community while sitting around the comforting glow of a bonfire. Refreshments will be served. Town of Colrain Fire Dept. 51 Main Rd, Colrain, MA (FREE)

Saturday, January 27, 6pm
PARENTS NIGHT OUT/AUTISM
Parents, get a sitter for the evening and come out for a night of food, cocktails, live music while exploring the exhibits at the Lyman and Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History. This is the annual fundraising event for Stepping Out for Autism, a local organization that supports thousands of families in our region. Local author John Elder Robison will be also be in attendance and signing copies of his books. Support a great cause and enjoy a fabulous evening. Cocktail attire optional! For more information and to reserve tickets, visit Stepping Out for Autism. Museum of Springfield History. 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA ($$$)

Saturday, January 27, 6-8pm
PLAY/NERF
Playing with nerf is a great way to get kids off the couch and running around! This is especially important in the cold winter months, when it’s hard to get outside. Nerf games can be a fun way for children to get exercise and learn to work with others. This special Kids Night Out! event features 5,000 square feet of play space, including obstacles. Please bring your own nerf equipment. This event is appropriate for children ages 5-12. The Infield Home of the Berkshire Baseball Academy. 10 Lyman St, Pittsfield, MA ($)

Saturday, January 27, 6-7:30pm
VISUAL ARTS/SKETCHING
Are you an artist looking to improve your figure drawing skills? This special sketching workshop at SHOW Circus Studio will give artists the opportunity to sketch figures in motion, by working with circus performer models. Whether you are an experienced artist or a beginner, you will have the opportunity to sketch model both in motion and in fixed poses. All ages welcome, materials not provided. Since 2009, the SHOW Circus Studio has been offering classes and resources for circus enthusiasts in our community. Their mission is to promote creativity, confidence, and fitness through circus arts! SHOW Circus Studio. 150 Pleasant St, # 313, Easthampton, MA ($)

Saturday, January 27, 8:30-11pm
PARENTS NIGHT OUT/ZYDECO
Nobody knows exactly where the word ‘zydeco’ comes from but it is speculated that this beloved, traditional Creole music takes its name from the French phrase “Les haricots ne sont pas salés” which means “the green beans are not salty.” As the phrase would be pronounced in the Creole dialect, it sounds something like ‘zydeco’. This exciting zydeco party at the Ashfield Lake House will feature delicious music, rousing zydeco music, and, of course, lots of dancing. Get a sitter for the night and break out your dancing shoes! The Ashfield Lake House. 141 Buckland Rd, Ashfield, MA ($)

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Sunday, January 28th, 2018

Click HERE to discover classes. Click HERE to find out about other community events. Click HERE to leave a comment about upcoming events.

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 www.valleyfreeradio.org. Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcast anytime – click here to select from over 10 years of archived shows!

Sunday, January 28, 6am-2pm
PLACEMAKING/ANGLING
For indigenous communities in the northern parts of the world, ice fishing has always been an important way to find food in the winter. Indigenous peoples of North America set up tents on the ice and chipped away until there was a hole large enough to spear fish through. These are the origins of modern ice fishing. Here in Western Massachusetts, ice fishing is an important part of our regional winter tradition. Communities of ice shantys pop up in favorite fishing spots and there is a special kind of camaraderie that forms out on the ice. Ice fishing derbies have existed in our region for generations. Come try your hand at the Onota Lake Ice Fishing Derby. Cash prizes and trophies, muffins and coffee! Lake Onota 388 Lakeway Dr, Pittsfield, MA ($)

Sunday, January 28, 1-3pm
NATURE STUDIES/WINTER LANDSCAPE
Do you love to learn about nature and be out and about in the cold? The changes of the seasons bring tremendous change to our local ecosystems. In the depth of winter, the landscape can be almost unrecognizable but beneath the snow and ice it is just as dynamic and alive as it is in spring and summer. Aspiring naturalists won’t want to miss this winter nature walk, with local expert Ted Watt. Through his work at the Hitchcock Center for the Environment, Ted cultivates a love of nature in children and adults through hands on outdoor education. This walk, hosted by Grow Food Northampton, will cover different aspects of the winter landscape from identifying animal tracks to natural history and invasive plants. Grow Food Northampton Organic Community Garden. 140 Meadow Street, Florence, MA ($)

Sunday, January 28, 3-4:30pm
INFANT/TODDLER/PRESCHOOLER OPEN HOUSE
Join the Smith College Center for Early Childhood Education at Fort Hill for an Open House on Sunday, January 28th from 3-4:30pm. Tour the school and meet classroom teachers and the music and visual arts studio teachers. Inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach, the program emphasizes a strong sense of community, learning through in-depth projects, and the arts. Now offering three-, four-, and five-day schedules in all age groups. Currently accepting applications for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers for summer and fall 2018. Tours are available Monday through Friday, and the school is located at 28 Lyman Road in Northampton, MA. To make an appointment or for more information, please contact cece@smith.edu or 413-585-3290.

Sunday, January 28, 3-5pm
LITERARY STUDIES/SHORT STORIES
There is nothing cozier in the wintertime than snuggling up with a cup of tea and a good book in front of a crackling fire, while the wind howls and the snow falls outside. This charming Firesiding Reading evokes those moments of warmth and tranquility with a series of fireside readings on the theme of winter. As a time for reflection and gathering strength, winter features prominently in global literature. From Shakespeare’s A Winter’s Tale to Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen, winter captures our imaginations like perhaps no other season. Local community members will read aloud short stories from Canada, Russia, Germany, and New England. The reading will be followed by a wine and cheese reception. For more information visit Fireside Readings on a Winter Theme. Buckland Public Library. 30 Upper Street, Buckland, MA ($)

Sunday, January 28, 4-6pm
IMMIGRATION/CONCERT
Immigrant justice is an issue that affects millions and our region is no exception. This benefit concert will raise money for local immigrants, whose lives have been radically disrupted by threats of sudden and unexpected deportation. If you are a music lover who would like to learn more about immigration and how it is affecting members of our community, you won’t want to miss this chorus concert. For more information please visit Voices for Sanctuary. Jewish Community of Amherst. 742 Main Street, Amherst, MA (SUGGESTED DONATION)

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Monday, January 29th, 2018

Storyhour & Playgroups: East Longmeadow, Pelham & Whately

Monday, January 29, 1:30-3pm
CONVERSATION CIRCLE/ESL
As everyone knows, the best possible way to learn a language is by speaking it with others. This is especially true for such a complicated language as English, which has so many irregularities and exceptions! This ESL Conversation Circle at the Jones Library is a great opportunity for non native english speaker to improve their langauge skills in a casual, supportive setting. This event is appropriate for intermediate and advanced english speakers. Immigrants welcome! Jones Library. 43 Amity Street, Amherst, MA (FREE)

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Tuesday, January 30th, 2018

Click HERE to discover classes. Click HERE to find out about other community events. Click HERE to leave a comment about upcoming events.

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, January 30, 7:30-9:30pm
MUSIC STUDIES/VIOLIN
Ever wonder where the word ‘violin’ actually comes from? The word was first used in English in the 1570s and refers to the diminutive form of the word ‘viola,’ another stringed instrument. But the roots of the word itself go all the way ancient Rome! Vitula was the Roman goddess of joy and the related verb ‘vitulari’ meaning ‘to exult or be joyful’ is thought to be origin of the name of this beloved instrument. And it’s easy to see why, there are few sounds that can evoke happiness and joy like the violin. Come listen to Umass violin faculty Elizabeth Chang performing pieces from Bach, Stravinsky, and Schumann! Bezanson Recital Hall. 151 President’s Drive, Amherst, MA (FREE)

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Wednesday, January 31st, 2018

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, January 31, 6:30-8:30pm
SNOWSHOE HIKE/MOON LORE
Ever wondered where the phrase ‘blue moon’ comes from? Of course, we are all familiar with the phrase ‘once in a blue moon,’ which simply refers to the rarity of having two full moons in the same month. But why ‘blue’? As it turns out, the history of the term is ancient, humorous, and strange. Apparently the word ‘blue’ in this case is simply a substitution for the Old English word “belewe,” meaning “betrayer.” Thus, the phrase ‘blue moon’ actually means “betrayer moon.” We don’t know exactly why this was considered a traitorous moon but there is some speculation that it refers to the fact that the appearance of a second full moon in one month meant that Lenten fasters would have to continue their fast for another whole month! Come experience the mystery and beauty of the blue moon and enjoy an invigorating snowshoe hike, followed by a warm fire and hot beverages. To register call 800-859-2960. Northfield Mountain. Northfield, MA (FREE)

Wednesday, January 31, 7-9pm
OPEN MIC/TEENS
There is an enormous thrill that comes from standing up on stage and sharing your voice with others! It’s invigorating, empowering, and terrifying in the best possible way, all at the same time. Additionally, you have the knowledge that you have shared the most valuable thing you have with others: yourself. At this special Ignite the Mic: Open Mic event all types of performances and talents are welcome. Challenge yourself and face your fears or perhaps you’re someone who has always felt that you belong on stage. Sing a song! Read an original poem! Ignite the Mic is a welcome environment for young people to feel comfortable standing up and performing. Ignite the Mic. 716 Sumner Ave, Springfield, MA (SUGGESTED DONATION)

Wednesday, January 31, 8-10pm
CULINARY ARTS/CULTURAL STUDIES
The Jewish holiday Tu B’Shvat literally means ‘the new year of the trees.’ In ancient times this holiday celebrating the fruit harvest and it has recently become a way to celebrate ecological awareness. Additionally, the concept of the harvest is a metaphor for the potential for life and beauty, which begins as a seed. In Israel in recent times, the holiday has been celebrated by planting new trees. To honor the gifts of the trees, it is customary to have a meal of dried fruits and nuts. Come celebrate Tu B’Shvat at Umass Chabad and learn how to make traditional fruit dishes enjoyed on this wonderful life-affirming holiday. Umass Chabad. 30 North Hadley Road, Amherst, MA (FREE)

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Thursday, February 1, 2018

Click HERE to discover classes. Click HERE to find out about other community events. Click HERE to leave a comment about upcoming events.

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, February 1, 5-7pm
ART STUDIES/SENSE OF PLACE
Join the Augusta Savage Gallery for the opening reception of their newest exhibit “Home.” Bringing together artists from around the world, this exhibit explores the concept of home and investigates what this word, which carries so much weight, means to different people. This event is an opportunity to learn about contemporary global art but also about some of the geopolitical issues and conflicts that shape today’s world. In some cases, home is a place that has been taken away by conflict. In others, it is place that is carried through generations of movement and relocation. And, of course, home is still a concept that represents hope, freedom, and joy. This exhibit runs until March 8. To learn more please visit Augusta Savage Gallery. Augusta Savage Gallery. 103 New Africa House. University of Massachusetts. 180 Infirmary Way, Amherst, MA (FREE)

Thursday, February 1, 5-8pm
PARENTS NIGHT OUT/MUSEUM ADVENTURES
The word ‘indulgence’ originally referred to the process by which medieval Catholics could decrease their punishments in the afterlife by committing certain good deeds, or paying the church. It has since become a synonym for enjoying something that maybe you aren’t supposed to. And there are few things that evoke the ideas of luxury and sensuality that ‘indulgence’ suggests like wine and chocolate! Come enjoy an evening of splendid decadence at this fabulously popular annual event with wine and chocolate hors d’oeuvres, hosted by Springfield Museums. Come for the wine and chocolate and stay for live music and a hands on art project. This event is appropriate for people ages 21 and above. Springfield Museums. 21 Edwards St, Springfield, MA ($)

Thursday, February 1, 7-8:30pm
SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION/WORKSHOP
Are you an aspiring entrepreneur interested in learning about business management? This free workshop at the Jones Library will focus on ways that prospective or current business owners can expand their business, receive funding from banks, and find important resources to support them in the community. If you’ve always wanted to start your own business, this would be a great place to start learning about the process! Registration required. Jones Library. 43 Amity Street, Amherst, MA (FREE)

Thursday, February 1, 7-8pm
ENTOMOLOGY/BUTTERFLIES
Butterflies, as symbols of lightness and beauty, have enchanted and inspired human beings all around the world for thousands of years. The third century BCE Chinese daoist sage Zhuangzi once wrote that he fell asleep and dreamed he was a beautiful butterfly, flying around free and carefree. Then he awoke and found that he was Zhuangzi again. But then he realized that he had no way to be sure if he had been a man dreaming of being a butterfly or if he was now a butterfly dreaming he was a man! Come learn all about butterflies; their naturalistic qualities and the myths and stories that humans have told about them. For more information and to buy tickets, visit The Hitchcock Center for the Environment. Hitchcock Center for the Environment. 845 West Street, Amherst, MA ($)

Thursday, February 1, 7-9pm
FILM SCREENING/PHILOSOPHY
Harold Ramis and Bill Murray’s beloved 1993 film may seem to be a simple comic tale about a narcissistic weatherman who realizes the nature of kindness, after becoming stuck in a time warp in a little Pennsylvania town. Over the years, however, the film has been seen as a philosophical allegory by many spiritual teachers and philosophers. Clearly, there is a strong buddhist element in the film’s insistence that the way to become free from suffering lies in kindness and selflessness. But there is also a deep resonance with Nietzsche’s concept of the eternal return: the film asks, how would choose to live if you knew that the same day would repeat endlessly for all time? Come experience this lovable, hilarious, and deeply thoughtful film at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center! 14 Castle Street, Great Barrington, MA ($)

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Friday, February 2nd, 2018

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, February 2, 9am
PLACEMAKING/WINTER CARNIVAL
Come celebrate the joys of winter and some of the various ways that our community honors the changing seasons. While the winter can be a time when people want to stay home and get cozy with a warm blanket and crackling fire, it’s important to remember that the winter allows us to enjoy all kinds of fun activities. The city of Greenfield has been holding an annual winter carnival since 1922! The carnival features a wide variety of activities including a chili cook off, ice carvings, a sleigh bell run, and much more. For a full listing of events visit Greenfield Winter Carnival. Greenfield, MA (FREE)

Friday, February 2, 4-6pm
NATURE APPRECIATION/SUNSET HIKE
Come experience the natural beauty of the Mohawk Trail! This historical area was once used by the indigenous people of the Hudson River Valley as a path to the Connecticut River region and to the coast beyond. Sunset Rock is a beautiful natural cliff along the Hoosac Range. These stunning cliffs were formed by the geological process known as ‘glacial plucking.’ This process refers to the creation of cliffs and valleys by the gradual erosion and movement of glaciers over thousands of years. This moderate hike will follow a 1.5 mile loop up to Sunset Rock. Hot apple cider will be provided but feel free to bring snacks and dress warm! Hoosac Range Trail. North Adams, MA (FREE)

Friday, February 2, 5-6:30pm
COSMETOLOGY/SKILL SHARING
There is an incredible sense of empowerment that comes from learning to make things yourself. You gain new skills, develop relationships with others, and learn to provide for yourself, which benefits a more sustainable and resilient lifestyle. Artspace Community Arts Center is dedicating to promoting the value of art and providing a space to create in our community, alongside trained educators and local artists. At this Artspace event you can learn to make your own lipstick! Artspace Greenfield. 15 Mill St, Greenfield, MA ($)

Friday, February 2, 4-5pm
ARCHITECTURE/SUSTAINABILITY
If you or someone in your family has an interest in architecture and sustainability, you will not want to miss this opportunity to learn all about one of our region’s most innovative buildings! The Hitchcock Center for the Environment is a one of kind building that has received the prestigious Living Building certification. This certification is only given to buildings that meet a rigorous standard of ecological regeneration and sustainability. The Hitchcock Center not only mimics natural functions by providing its own energy and water, but it is also designed to have a regenerating influence on the ecosystem! Come on down for a free bi-monthly tour and learn first hand how architectural design can address the ongoing climate catastrophe. Hitchcock Center for the Environment. 845 West St, Amherst, MA (FREE)

Friday, February 2, 5-8pm
PLACEMAKING/ART WALK
One of greatest treasures of our region is the abundance of amazing local art! Come take a lovely evening stroll around downtown Pittsfield and enjoy exhibits and art shows by over two dozen regional artists. This popular event is a great way for the community to come together and celebrate art and creativity. Additionally, most of these artists will be present at their shows so visitors can ask questions and learn more about the creative process. This event would be an opportunity for aspiring artists to learn about local art and the venues that exist in our area for displaying it. Downtown Pittsfield, Pittsfield, MA (FREE)

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Hilltown Families’ list of Suggested Events is supported in part by a grant from the Buckland, Chicopee, Plainfield, Shelburne, Westhampton, and Worthington Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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