Suggested Events for February 3rd – 9th, 2018
If 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.
Serving 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.
LAST DAY to Sign Up for Hilltown Families’ 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!
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.
Summer Camp Directory
MARKET YOUR SUMMER CAMP: In an effort to connect families with summer camps & programs in the region, Hilltown Families is offering camps and programs a chance to partner with us in their online marketing with a special enhanced publicity offer. On Wednesday, March 7th, 2018, Hilltown Families will be featuring summer camps and programs in the region on Hilltown Families with a special post titled: 2018 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA. Find out more about this targeted marketing opportunity HERE.
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/.
Sunnyside invites you to sing, dance, and play with them at their Winter Concert featuring Dan Bern! When: February 3rd, 11am – 1 pm. Where: Florence Community Center, 140 Pine Street, Florence MA. Cost: $8/person and $25/family admission at the door. For advanced sales, call: 413-727-3665. Enjoy spirited kids’ music and pizza for lunch, leaving with a smile and some new friends! Don’t know Dan’s music yet? Check it out here: danbern.bandcamp.com. Sunnyside is accepting applications for Fall 2018 enrollment. This family concert is a great way to talk to parents and staff about their toddler and preschool programs. Sponsors: Greenfield Savings Bank and Wohl Family Dentistry.
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.’
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.
The New England Air Museum in Windsor Locks, CT will hold an Open Cockpit Day on Saturday, Feb. 10 from 10am-4pm. Special activities include climb aboard experiences in historic aircraft; flight simulators; hands-on Build & Fly Challenges, and much more! A variety of aircraft will be open for visitors including the WWII era Republic P-47D, the Vietnam War era Bell UH-1B “Huey” helicopter, as well as supersonic jet fighters including the North American F-100 Super Sabre jet fighter and the Lockheed F-104C Starfighter. Also on that day, NEAM will hold a paper airplane contest throughout the day. All activities are free with museum admission. For more information and directions to the museum, please visit www.neam.org or call 860-623-3305.
Spirit of the Heart Martial Arts has been empowering children in the Pioneer Valley since 1993. Located in Northampton with classes also in Greenfield and Ashfield, Spirit of the Heart offers open enrollment for 4-18 year olds. Children are lovingly coached to find focus, control, expression, strength and resilience to face everyday challenges. The class blends martial arts, meditation, communication skills, self-defense and fun fitness. Spirit of the Heart is committed to protecting your child. Just like you are. The first class is always free. February and April Vacation Camps and Summer Camps are filling up fast! Join Us For Your Free Introduction. For more information, email: email@example.com
Back by popular demand: $5 Family Films at Amherst Cinema during the month of February! From live action to animation and from classics to new releases, this diverse film lineup is sure to delight kids big and small. Travel to the fairy tale kingdom of Florin with The Princess Bride on 2/3, befriend a lovable alien in E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial on 2/10, enjoy award-winning shorts with Kid Flix 2 on 2/17 and 2/20 through 2/23, meet three brilliant African American women at NASA in Hidden Figures on 2/19, and explore the magic of poetry in Window Horses on 2/24. For tickets and info visit: www.amherstcinema.org/series/family-films.
Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Oak Meadow! Take 20% off in their bookstore Feb 14 to 28. Exploring education options for your child next year? Oak Meadow’s creative, flexible homeschooling curriculum provides a comprehensive educational experience, delivered with imagination and heart. The 36-week print curriculum includes all you need for a year and can be customized to meet your student’s needs and interests. Purchase complete packages for K-8 or individual courses for high school, or just stock up on books and supplies to support your homeschooling journey. Share the love and tell your friends about this sweet discount! Questions? Send ‘em to firstname.lastname@example.org and a friendly educational counselor will be in touch.
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.
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 email@example.com.
JOIN 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
February 3rd – 9th, 2018
Saturday, February 3, 2018
9-10am – HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW: Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org. Jay Sand of All Around This World, a global music and world cultures experience for kids and their families, takes us on a journey around the magnificently musical continent of Africa. Join Jay to explore African music that originates from countries such as Algeria, Ethiopia, Uganda, Ghana, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Africa, and Madagascar. Bring the whole family along to meet Africa through music! 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, February 3, 9am
Reading animal tracks is one of the oldest human skills, common to all traditional communities. In ages past, tracking was predominantly a skill used in hunting but today it can also be a way to get more in touch with our environment and learn about the various species that live around us. For this event, join local naturalist David Brown out on the trail for some hands on tracking. You’ll learn how to identify the tracks of mammals and others animals. For more information visit Northfield Public Library. Dickinson Memorial Library. 115 Main Street, Northfield, MA (FREE)
Saturday, February 3, 9:30-11:30am
Smith College Campus School Open House. Prospective kindergarten through grade 6 students and their parents are invited to an open house at the school. 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/. Gill Hall. 33 Prospect Street, Northampton, MA (FREE)
Saturday, February 3, 10am-12pm
Albert Einstein famously pointed out how vital bees and other pollinators are to human survival. It’s easy to forget that these little critters are the only reason we have food to eat! Learning about pollination is a great way to gain a deeper understanding of plant biology and also how interconnected we are with our environment. This special three week course on pollination will focus on how you can design your home garden to optimize pollination and contribute to our local ecosystem. You will learn about the best kinds of plants to attract local pollinators and how to get the most out of your home garden. The Hitchcock Center for the Environment. 845 West Street, Amherst, MA ($$$)
Saturday, February 3, 10am-12pm
Do you have a child at home who just loves goo? A child who likes nothing more than to play with ooey gooey sticky slimy goopy gloopy goo? Well this is the event for you! And you’ll learn how to make goo, too. So that is something new. Something new for you to do. Making and playing with goo is a super fun way for young children to learn about science. Goo may be simple but it can teach kids about chemical reactions and lots more. For more information on this special goo workshop, visit Ooey Gooey Science. Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. 127 Combs Road, Easthampton, MA ($)
Saturday, February 3, 10am-1pm
COMMUNITY AGRICULTURE/WINTER FARE
Come celebrate our community and its wonderful farmers and craftspeople! Sustainable local agriculture is an important part of our regional culture. When you buy produce and crafts directly from local vendors you are not only supporting your local economy but you are also helping to create a food system that does not depend on millions of tons of carbon to produce and ship food around the world. At this special Winter Fare at the Greenfield Winter Market community members will have the opportunity to check out free workshops on mushroom cultivation, ghee making, and seed saving! Four Corners School. 21 Ferrante Ave, Greenfield, MA (FREE)
Saturday, February 3, 11am-1pm
Sunnyside invites you to sing, dance, and play with them at their Winter Concert featuring Dan Bern! Enjoy spirited kids’ music and pizza for lunch, leaving with a smile and some new friends! Don’t know Dan’s music yet? Check it out here: danbern.bandcamp.com. Sunnyside is accepting applications for Fall 2018 enrollment. This family concert is a great way to talk to parents and staff about their toddler and preschool programs. For advanced sales, call: 413-727-3665.Florence Community Center. 140 Pine Street, Florence, MA ($)
Saturday, February 3, 12-3pm
LIVING HISTORY/ICE HARVEST
It’s easy to take modern conveniences like refrigerators for granted but it wasn’t so long ago that New Englanders depended on ice harvesting to keep perishable food cold. While people have been using ice to preserve food for thousands of years, the ice trade as an industry began in Boston in 1806. Massachusetts businessman Frederic Tudor, known as the ‘Ice King,’ realized that he could make a fortune by chopping up blocks of ice from ponds in New England and shipping them all over the world. Massachusetts ice harvested in this period even made it all the way to India! Because of the extremely physically demanding nature of ice harvesting, ice was really only available to the elite. Now you can learn first hand exactly how challenging it was to harvest ice at this special ice harvest event. Participants will actually have the opportunity to go out onto the ice with saws and other equipment. Noble and Cooley Center for Historic Preservation. 42 Water Street, Granville, MA (SUGGESTED DONATION)
Saturday, February 3, 10:30 AM
Back by popular demand: $5 Family Films at Amherst Cinema during the month of February! From live action to animation and from classics to new releases, this diverse film lineup is sure to delight kids big and small. Travel to the fairy tale kingdom of Florin with The Princess Bride on 2/3, befriend a lovable alien in E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial on 2/10, enjoy award-winning shorts with Kid Flix 2 on 2/17 and 2/20 through 2/23, meet three brilliant African American women at NASA in Hidden Figures on 2/19, and explore the magic of poetry in Window Horses on 2/24. For tickets and info visit: www.amherstcinema.org/series/family-films. Amherst, MA ($)
Saturday, February 3, 3pm
Starting in 2007 as a fun way to celebrate the community and the legacy of local celebrity Cecil B. DeMille, the Ashfield Film Festival has now shown more than 150 short films, the vast majority of which have been filmed and produced by local residents! In recent years the film festival has grown and now offers workshops to teach filmmaking. Come attend this free workshop and then stick around and check out a selection of short films from last years first ever Women’s Film Festival. Ashfield Film Festival . Elmer’s Store. 396 Main St, Ashfield, MA (SUGGESTED DONATION)
Saturday, February 3, 4pm
Since 1987, the Drama Studio in Springfield has been empowering young people in the community to find their voices and discover the joys of acting. By both offering acting classes and putting on performances, the Drama Studio offers young people the opportunity to grow as artists, individuals, and leaders. Come check out a series of short performances at the Drama Studio’s “Winter Shorts Festival”, all weekend long. Call 413-739-1983 to reserve tickets. The Drama Studio. 41 Oakland Street, Springfield, MA ($)
Saturday, February 3, 5-8pm
Legend has it that luminarias originated when Spanish merchants traveled to China and were taken by the paper lanterns that are customary in East Asian cultures. In the colonies of New Spain, the custom was taken up at Christmas time. Since then, luminarias have become popular year round as a way to celebrate all kinds of holidays and festivals. As part of a week-long Amherst Winterfest, come check out the beautiful luminarias made by Amherst elementary students at the Amherst Common! As you stroll through the common, enjoy live music and food provided by local restaurants. This event is a great way to come together as a community and celebrate what makes Amherst a special place. Amherst Town Common. Amherst, MA (FREE)
Sunday, February 4, 2018
7-8am – 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, February 4, 11am-12pm
COMMUNITY MEAL/ACT OF KINDNESS
There is nothing like sharing a meal with your friends and neighbors. Get to know the members of your community, make new friends, and reconnect with old ones. This Souper Bowl of Caring event celebrates the spirit of giving and coming together to enjoy a delicious meal. Donations and nonperishable food items go to benefit the Hilltown Food Pantry in Goshen. These are the kinds of events that truly strengthen our communities, people coming together to get to know each other better and combining their resources for the benefit of those who are less fortunate! First Congregational Church of Williamsburg. 4 North Main Street, Williamsburg, MA (SUGGESTED DONATION)
Sunday, February 4, 12-3pm
Sledding is one of the most quintessential New England winter activities. Do you have memories of the joys and the thrills of sledding as a child? Now you can make new memories with your own kiddos with this community sledding event at the legendary Cherry Hill Golf Course. Get to know your neighbors and create a new winter tradition. Cherry Hill Golf Course. 325 Montague Road, Amherst, MA (FREE)
Sunday, February 4, 1-4pm
Drawing has always occupied an important role in the history of art. Independent, to a certain extent from the limitations of painting, drawing as a medium has always been about pushing the boundaries. From Francisco Goya’s macabre sketches detailing the grotesqueness of war to Honore Daumier’s hilarious and topical caricatures, drawing is able to capture something ineffable and profound about the human condition. Odilon Redon once said: “My drawings inspire, and are not to be defined. They place us, as does music, in the ambiguous realm of the undetermined.” Come celebrate the Clark Art Institutes new exhibit of drawings with a series of short lectures on Goya, Daumier, Redon, Cezanne, and other artists who added to the development of drawing as a medium. First Sundays Free. The Clark Art Institute. 225 South Street, Williamstown, MA (FREE)
Sunday, February 4, 2-6pm
Few birds have been as symbolically important to human beings as crows as ravens. These birds appear in mythology from all around the world: in Japan, China, and Korea the Three Legged Crow represents the spirit of the Sun. In India there is an entire holiday dedicated to preparing and serving lavish vegetarian meals to crows. And among indigenous communities from Australia and North America, crows and ravens represent the trickster god and cultural hero. Come learn about the natural history of this mysterious bird at this special event hosted by Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. 127 Combs Road, Easthampton, MA ($)
Sunday, February 4, 2pm
The term ‘a cappella’ literally translates to “in the manner of the chapel,” referring to the origins of singing unaccompanied by instruments. In the early 20th century this musical genre, focusing on harmonization, first became popular in the United States. Now you can find a cappella clubs and groups at many high schools and universities all over the country. The Silver Chord Bowl A Cappella Invitational, currently in its 34th year, is one of the most prestigious a cappella concerts in the region and features the best collegiate a cappella groups from New England. Guests will also enjoy a special presentation by Northampton high school’s own ‘Northamptones.’ John M. Greene Hall, Smith College, 60 Elm Street, Northampton, MA ($$)
Sunday, February 4, 2-4pm
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. Greenfield, MA
Monday, February 5, 2018
Monday, February 5, 10-11:30am
Do you have a toddler at home who is curious about farms? From the animals to the equipment, there is so much on a farm to interest young children! Spending time on a farm is also a great way to teach children about the seasons and the changes they bring. Maybe it’s time for baby chicks to head out into the pasture or perhaps you’ll even get to see a sheep give birth. Red Gate Farm is offering a special Mornings on the Farm program for young children and their parents. Meet all the animals and learn through hands on activities. This program is appropriate for children ages 0-4. Red Gate Farm. 4 Norman Road, Ashfield, MA ($)
Monday, February 5, 6:15-8pm
Swimming is a great way to exercise and reduce stress and anxiety. It’s also fun and relaxing. The CHD’s Disability Resource Program is hosting a special adaptive swimming event for people of all ages and abilities. To sign up please call 413-788-9695. Springfield College Athletics. 263 Alden St, Springfield, MA (FREE)
Monday, February 5, 7-8:30pm
LOCAL HISTORY/NATURE STUDIES
All places have their history, both natural and cultural. The landscape has a story to tell, no matter where you are. For instance, you might never have guessed that the Burts Pit area of Northampton has been the site of so many important events, in terms of both human and geological history. For instance, did you know that Burts Pit is Northampton’s only bog? This lecture by local naturalist Laurie Sanders will explore many of the fascinating secrets this unique spot has to offer. APE Gallery. 126 Main Street, Northampton, MA (FREE)
Tuesday, February 6, 2018
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, February 6, 5:10-6:10pm
MUSIC STUDIES/SOCIAL JUSTICE
Interested in learning about how music can change society? Award winning composer and vocalist Reena Esmail has dedicated her career to exploring the overlap between music and social justice. Esmail, whose music has been influenced by both Western and Indian traditions, has degrees from Juilliard and Yale music schools and received a Fulbright scholarship to study in India. As a Smith College guest composer, Esmail will be presenting a lecture on “Creating Equitable Spaces through Music”. Earle Recital Hall. 144 Green Street, Northampton, MA (FREE)
Tuesday, February 6, 5:30pm
SPECIAL NEEDS/ROCK CLIMBING
Indoor rock climbing is popular way to get fit! In addition to being a powerful way to build upper body strength and balance, rock climbing can boost cognitive functions and reduce stress and depression. Moving from one area to another requires problem solving and attention to detail. Now thanks to the CHD’s Disability Resource Program, Central Rock in Hadley is offering a special Adaptive Rock Climbing course! Central Rock Hadley. 165 Russell St, Hadley, MA ($$)
Tuesday, February 6, 6-7pm
PARENT CHILD DATE NIGHT/WINTER ANIMALS
It’s important for parents to make special time for them to spend one-on-one with their children. The Agawam Family and Community Program has organized a series of fun, educational events for parents to take their children to. This tuesday, come learn all about winter animals. Hibernating polar bears, marching penguins, and lots more! For more information and to register, please visit Parent Child Date Night. Agawam Public Library. Agawam, MA (FREE)
Tuesday, February 6, 6:30-8pm
HEALTH AND WELLNESS/GUT MICROBIOME
More and more scientists and medical professionals are looking into the microbiology of the human digestive system as a way to understand and treat overall health. Gut flora can influence health in many surprising ways. In fact, it has recently been suggested that depression may be caused by bacterial imbalance. This workshop will discuss some of the ways that the gut microbiome impacts our health and suggest ways that people can restore balance to this delicate ecosystem. For more information and to register, visit River Valley Co-op. River Valley Co-op. 330 North King Street, Northampton, MA (FREE)
Tuesday, February 6, 7-8pm
Interested in learning to play the ukulele? This lovely instrument is easy to learn and is great for children! The ukulele originated in Hawaii in the 19th century, when Portuguese immigrants introduced the local community to the ‘machete’ a small guitar. The name ‘ukulele’ actually means “jumping flea” in Hawaiian! And when you see a musicians fingers jumping all over the strings, it’s easy to see why. Local musician and music teacher Don Rovero will be going over the basics of ukulele playing at this Ukulele Workshop. West Springfield Public Library, West Springfield, MA (FREE)
Wednesday, February 7, 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, February 7, 10am
SHAKESPEARE/SELF DIRECTED LEARNING
Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream has always been one the bard’s most enigmatic and divisive plays. In 1662, Parliament member Samuel Pepys wrote that it was “the most insipid ridiculous play that ever I saw in my life.” Though he added that it had “some good dancing and some handsome women, which was all my pleasure.” In recent years, the play has enjoyed a much better reception and coincidentally, has been heavily analyzed in terms of its powerful feminist sentiment. Come check out this special performance of the play by member of the illustrious Shakespeare and Company! To order tickets and for more information, please contact Jonathan Croy at email@example.com. Tina Packer Playhouse. 70 Kemble Street, Lenox, MA ($)
Wednesday, February 7, 5:30-7:30pm
Are you interested in learning about employment opportunities for teenagers? This special workshop series at the Greenfield Public Library will teach you everything you need to know about putting together a resume and filling out job applications. Teenagers will also be able to practice with a mock job interview and meet employers from the area who are interested in hiring teengaers. Greenfield Public Library. 402 Main Street, Greenfield, MA (FREE)
Wednesday, February 7, 6pm
CULINARY STUDIES/TEA AND CHOCOLATE
A good food and beverage pairing is all about drawing out and emphasizing or contrasting certain latent qualities. A flavor or sensation that you may not have noticed becomes suddenly clear when paired properly. Contrarily, two distinct flavors may come together to form something new and harmonious. Of course, we are all familiar with wine pairings. This special event is all about pairing tea with chocolate. While one might think that coffee, with its richness and intensity, would be a more natural pairing with chocolate, it turns out that tea and chocolate have a lot of surprising similarities and compliment each other in exciting ways! Greenfield Public Library. 402 Main Street, Greenfield, MA (FREE)
Wednesday, February 7, 7:30pm
THEATER STUDIES/LITERATURE IN TRANSLATION
Descend into the world of the slumbering unconscious with Umass Amherst Theater’s production of August Strindberg’s haunting, classic A Dream Play. Strindberg, considered the father of modern Swedish literature, wrote this surreal play during a period of enormous personal psychological trauma. Strindberg wrote this masterpiece following a psychotic collapse, in which he imagined that he was being menaced by witches who were trying to murder him. The play, which Strindberg described as “the child of my greatest pain,” explores the idea that life is a dreamlike illusion through a mysterious sequence of changes. Characters come and go, fading in and out of consciousness, following the obscure logic of the dream. Shifts in time and place occur seamlessly. A logic that accepts things as they are, as they occur, without judgment. The overarching theme of the play is the perspective of the dreamer and idea that humanity is defined by suffering and thus is deserving of pity and compassion. The impact of A Dream Play on contemporary theater cannot be overstated. Strindberg rejected a traditional linear structure, with its implied logic of cause and effect, and instead structured the play around the type of associative, spontaneous connections that occur within the world of dreams. Umass Amherst Theater, Fine Arts Center. 151 Presidents Drive, Amherst, MA ($)
Wednesday, February 7, 7:30-10:30pm
PARENTS NIGHT OUT/CONTRADANCE
Contradance is a New England tradition! While this popular form of dance draws upon English, Irish, and Scottish folk dancing, it was codified in France in the 17th century when these dances became popular among the French nobility. The dance then returned to Great Britain and was the most popular form of dance in New England by the beginning of the 18th century. Ever since then contra dance has been an important part of our regional culture. By the 1930s and 40s, there were established contra dance camps and schools throughout New England. Despite the tremendous regional and cultural variations that exist, all contra dance must contain three elements: a caller, a band, and dancers. So if you are a contradance regular or a first timer, mosey on down to this special contradance featuring the band Concepdance! 99 Main Street, Amherst, MA ($)
Thursday, February 8, 2018
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 8, 3:30-4:30pm
Do you have an aspiring scientist in your family? STEM fields can be a fascinating way to learn about the world that we live in. Now your favorite science and STEM programs from Berkshire Museum come right to your own neighborhood with South County STEM! These programs are designed for children ages 2 to 8. Space is limited so please call 413-464-5095 to RSVP. Lee Library. 100 Main Street, Lee, MA (FREE)
Thursday, February 8, 5pm
AUTHOR TALK/ENGLISH LANGUAGE
Ilan Stavans, Amherst College Professor of Humanities, Latin American, and Latino Culture, is a internationally renowned scholar, whose work on seminal Chilean poet Pablo Neruda has been especially influential. At this author talk professor Stavans will be discussing how the Trump era has impacted the development of the English language through lexical and syntactic breakdown. Stavans asks, tongue-in-cheek: “Can we make English great again?” W.E.B. Du Bois Library. Amherst, MA (FREE)
Thursday, February 8, 5-7:30pm
Come celebrate the opening of the new exhibit “House” at the Amherst College Mead Art Museum! This spectacular collection of 58 pieces by artists from around the world investigates the concept of a ‘house,’ both as a physical structure with aesthetic qualities and as a space for living, which draws the idea of the house into a constellation of political and economic concerns. It is also true, of course that the house as a structure and symbol is inherently linked to the concept of ‘home,’ which evokes nostalgia, memory, hope, and loss. If you are interested in architecture and modern art, you won’t want to miss this exhibit. Stirn Auditorium and Mead Art Museum. Amherst College. Amherst, MA (FREE)
Thursday, February 8, 5:30-6:30pm
As New Englanders, the town meeting is a valuable part of our regional history. This direct democracy form of local government has been a staple of New England life since the Puritan era and in 1854 Henry David Thoreau described the town meeting as “the true Congress, and the most respectable one that is ever assembled in the United States.” Come celebrate the tradition of the town meeting, immortalized in Norman Rockwell’s Four Freedoms paintings with this special event at the Norman Rockwell Museum. Local commentators will discuss important social issues with the community, followed by refreshments. Norman Rockwell Museum. 9 Glendale Rd/Rte 183, Stockbridge, MA (FREE)
Thursday, February 8, 6:30-8pm
Traditional communities around the world have always found creative ways to provide food for themselves in the winter, even in the coldest and most inhospitable climates. These days we rely on a massive global agricultural and transportation system. Being more self sufficient has many benefits, in this case the benefit can be measured in terms of your carbon footprint. In other words, how much carbon is consumed in order to get that bag of lettuce to us in New England in December. If you are interested in learning about some of the ways that you can preserve food for the winter, this is the event for you. From sauerkraut, to pickles, and ghee, preserving food is economical and delicious! For more information see Lessening Our Carbon Footprint: Local Winter Harvest. Hitchcock Center for the Environment. 845 West St, Amherst, MA ($)
Thursday, February 8, 7pm
Join Coming Together, a group dedicated to working toward understanding racism in our region, for a special film screening and discussion about the connections between racism and climate change by Dr. Atyia Martin, Chief Resilience Officer for the City of Boston. This event is a great way to learn about how social problems like racism are impacted and intensified by ecological problems caused by climate change. For more information visit Coming Together. Jones Library. Amherst, MA (FREE)
Thursday, February 8, 7:30-9:30pm
Do you have a dancer in your family? Are you a fan of contemporary modern dance? This is a show you won’t want to miss! Jessica Lang is considered one of the finest choreographers of her generation. Since its founding in 2011 the Jessica Lang Dance Company has toured all over the world and garnered praise and won awards for its groundbreaking creativity and stunning design. Come experience Lang’s masterful blending of ballet and contemporary dance at the Umass Fine Arts Center. This is an amazing opportunity to see an amazing artist at the peak of her creative power. Umass Fine Arts Center. 151 Presidents Drive, Amherst, MA ($$)
Friday, February 9, 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 9, 1-4pm
The human library project is a truly unique approach to fostering greater connection and understanding between people. The concept is simple: just like a library, you can go into the card catalog and browse for books on subjects that you are interested in learning more about. The twist is that in this case, the books are actual people! At the human library, you can check out a ‘book’ for 30 minute, one-on-one conversation. You can ask the book questions about their experience and they can ask you questions too. The human library project was founded in Denmark in 2001 and has since spread all around the world as a model for appreciating diversity and overcoming prejudice. Paresky Student Center. Williams College. Williamstown, MA (FREE)
Friday, February 9, 4-7pm
Do you love robots? And making things with your hands? Come check out this opportunity to make your own artwork inspired by pieces at the Smith College Museum of Art. At this event, participants will be creating their own robot sculpture based on artist Tahano Miho’s “Robot Girl.” Followed by discussion and refreshments. Smith College Museum of Art. Northampton, MA (FREE)
Friday, February 9, 5-7:30pm
Imagine yourself sitting out under the beautiful night sky, gazing into a crackling bonfire, telling stories with members of the community. The warm glow of the fire casting shadows on the faces around you. The stars above twinkling happily. In these moments we are transported back to a primeval past, sharing the magic of the night and the fire with all those who have come before us. Storytelling is one of the oldest ways that human beings have of seeking to understand ourselves and our place in the vast cosmos. Stories connect us to one another and the world beyond. This Night Sky and Stories by the Fire event celebrates the beauty of the night sky and the special kind of camaraderie that comes with sharing stories around a fire. Hitchcock Center for the Environment. 845 West Street, Amherst, MA (FREE)
Friday, February 9, 5-8pm
Ice sculpture is very popular all around the world. Obviously, it’s more common in colder northern countries but there is even an ice carving festival in the Philippines in July! One of the largest and most spectacular ice sculpture festivals in the world is in the northern Chinese city of Harbin, where artists create a landscape of ice palaces, castles, and sculptures illuminated with LED lights. For the past 8 years this tradition has found a home in Northampton, with local ice carving artists installing their works throughout the town. For more information see Northampton Ice Art Festival. Northampton, MA (FREE)
Friday, February 9, 6pm
FILM FESTIVAL/LATINX CULTURE
The Palante Film Festival is a new project designed to give voice to filmmakers highlighting different aspects of the Latinx, Puerto Rican, and Afro-Caribbean experience. These films portray daily life in these diasporic communities and explore some of the social issues that these communities regularly face. Film categories include: Family, LGBT, and Women. El Mercado Holyoke. 413 Main Street, Holyoke, MA ($)
Friday, February 9, 7pm
VALENTINE’S DAY/COMMUNITY DANCE
Celebrate Valentine’s Day by dancing the night away with the one you love! Local band the Lonesome Brothers combine elements of blues, folk, and rock. A real local favorite, these Western Massachusetts born and bred musicians bring a casual conversational style to their music, evoking such American music legends as Hank Williams and Chuck Berry. Come join the Lonesome Brothers for a special Valentine’s Day Dance. The Village Church, Cummington. 32 Main Street, Cummington, MA (FREE)
Hilltown Families’ list of Suggested Events is supported in part by a grant from the Belchertown, Buckland, Chicopee, Shelburne, and Worthington Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.