Month: December 2016

December 26th – December 31st

The Valley Nerd Watch Christmas Magic Special!


The special magic is that this is coming out on Christmas Day! That’s dedication, you’re welcome. We’re hanging out with our beloved mom, we hope you’re having a decent day with whatever person place or thing delights you!

Not strictly because it’s a holiday, but because it’s a Sunday and just relaxing and feeling should really be a regular weekly thing for everyone.

There’s a Steam sale on! We recommend you purchase a whole ton of Choice of Games games because they’re the only people currently putting things on Steam that we’re currently aware of who employ a Local Creator!

Let us know if there’s other stuff on Steam we should talk about because boy howdy do not underestimate how much we want to talk about video games, it is a shocking display of willpower that this is not just a videogame blog.

Anyway! Happy holidays everyone, this is a bit of a light one on account of these holidays!

Go check out the Valley Creators page! As always, be sure to check out our Patreon and the Weekly Events page! There are a lot of fun things happening this and every week! And don’t forget to check out the updated Book Clubs List!

THIS WEEK


Art:

Thursday, December 29th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
New Year’s Eve Noisemaker and Crown Making Workshop
Oh they’ll try to stop you. They’ll try to keep you from making that incessant sound. They’re going to come after you with everything they have to prevent the sonic assault that has already ruptured their eardrums from destroying all they hold dear. But then, my friend… then you’ll point to the CROWN.

Entertainment:

Tuesday, December 27th
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art [125 West Bay Rd., Amherst, MA 01002] at 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Special Storytime: Kevin Barry
As per the listing “Join Kevin Barry for this special storytime that follows one family through the course of a day as they march through meadows like ants, dive to the depths like seals, play hide and seek like fireflies, and chatter like raccoons.” Sounds delightful!
Thursday, December 29th
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art [125 West Bay Rd., Amherst, MA 01002] at 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
CactusHead Puppets Present: The Pied Piper of Hamelin
As per the listing “The town of Hamelin has a rat problem, and there’s only one person who can help! CactusHead Puppets brings the story of The Pied Piper to life in this comedic, updated adaptation of the traditional folktale. Not only does the town find a musical solution to pest control, but the kids of Hamelin also teach the grownups a lesson about generosity. In the end, the townspeople all come together in celebration. Join puppeteers John and Megan Regan as they present this classic tale, told with multiple puppetry styles, and plenty of dancing rats!” Sounds like a fable that was terrifying in the original German and is now a lot more heartwarming!
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art [125 West Bay Rd., Amherst, MA 01002] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
CactusHead Puppets Present: The Pied Piper of Hamelin
Same as the other listing, but in this one human sized rats play all the characters.
Friday, December 30th
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art [125 West Bay Rd., Amherst, MA 01002] at 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
CactusHead Puppets Present: The Pied Piper of Hamelin
Same as the other listing, but in this one the entire audience will be rats except for you.
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art [125 West Bay Rd., Amherst, MA 01002] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
CactusHead Puppets Present: The Pied Piper of Hamelin
Same as the other listing, but in this one man was the real rat all along.
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art [125 West Bay Rd., Amherst, MA 01002] at 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM
Whole Book Approach Storytime with Megan Dowd Lambert
Families will get to experience a storytime with Megan Dowd Lambert, followed by a signing of copies of her books, including “Reading Picture Books with Children”!
Saturday, December 31st
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
First Night: John Porcino
Stories and songs from a renowned storyteller and musician! They’ll light up a chilly night for all ages. It’s offered as a part of First Night Northampton 2017, and admittance requires a button!
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM
First Night: Sam Perry
A family jam with a nice person who plays the acoustic guitar and sings great children’s music! It’s offered as a part of First Night Northampton 2017, and admittance requires a button!

Kids:

Tuesday, December 27th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Treats at 2: Game Time
Play some boardgames with friends! It’s a fun time and boardgames are good to have fun times with when you’ve got friends around.
Wednesday, December 28th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Treats at 2: LEGO Club
LEGO: the best toy. It does try to hurt you, though, when you step on it. But it’s amazing, and everyone loves it. Little blocks you can turn into anything and everything! Do it with friends and it’s twice as fun! For children 5 and up!
Thursday, December 29th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Treats at 2: Kids Craft Club
Make winter-themed crafts with coooool folks! Enjoy tasty treats while you do so. For ages 6-12!
Friday, December 30th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Film Screening: Beauty and the Beast
Watch an animated classic and enjoy free popcorn! Suitable for children of all ages!

Movies:

Tuesday, December 27th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Film Screening: The Secret Life of Pets
Illumination, the makers of the weirdly successful Despicable Me films, made one about cute pets that stars like 20 comedians we think are pretty good. We didn’t really hear much about it… which doesn’t mean it’s awful but like, yeah. Hm. Well hey look it’s basically guaranteed that anyone young enough will like literally any movie you show them, so why not take a chance to hang out at the library with your kids and watch something that’s probably okay? It’s free!
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 2:00 PM to 4:30 PM
Film Screening: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
See that wizardy kiddo in one of his best adventures on the silver screen! Harry Potter is beloved by all, young and old, and this is the one where he stages a big old prison break and confronts the frankly horrifying correctional system of the wizarding world. Seriously, they force you to stay in a cell where monsters eat your hope, that’s messed up!
Wednesday, December 28th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Film Screening: The BFG
This story was like 4 pages long, right? That’s so hard to stretch into a whole film! It’s probably beautiful to look at, at a minimum. Not like Disney is working with anything but a literal mountain of money, so the effects have to be great. We think we heard alright stuff about this one. Also again, free movie that you can take a kid to, hard to argue with if you’ve got a kid to entertain.

RPGs:

Wednesday, December 28th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
RPG Encounters: Star Wars
Play Star Wars because you’re excited about Star Wars! The RPG will allow you to explore the nooks and crannys of the universe, acting out your own personal Rogue One!
Thursday, December 29th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Dungeons and Dragons
Play one of the classic RPGs at Modern Myths! New players are always welcome, and there’s a friendly crowd there every week!
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It’s Epimas Eve!

We need to draw your attention to the wonderful Worlds Without Master, the magazine curated by the excellent Local Creator Epidiah Ravachol!

Because it’s Epimas Eve! Tomorrow is Epimas, the holiday we all celebrate and understand implicitly! In order to celebrate Epimas, Epidiah put a bunch of awesome games and stories and comics on sale in convenient sale bundles large and small!

Here’s how it works:

  • Choose a bundle from below. When you add it to your cart, you will be prompted for your gift recipient’s email address and name.
  • You will be able to download your copy of the bundle immediately.
  • Your recipient will get an email from me on Epimas morn (Dec. 24th) with instructions for downloading their copy of the bundle.
  • If you buy $45 or more, use the coupon code “Abundance” to receive an additional 20% off.

You’ve got a little while left, buy a bunch of fun things!

December 19th – December 25th

The Valley Nerd Watch!


Have an extremely good holiday season this year! Bring good cheer to other folks, it’s a good time to make sure that other people are doing okay and that they have what they need. Lots of gift-giving holiday times does sometimes mean a bunch of stress, though! Take care of yourselves.

This is a great time to become a sustaining monthly donor of a great charitable organization like the Food Bank of Western Mass! You can also donate in the name of your friends or family as a way of avoiding having to figure out what the heck to get them. Well, and as a way to do good in the world. But like, with the side benefit of making shopping for gifts during the Gifting Season less stressful.

Anyway, Happy Holidays!

Go check out the Valley Creators page! As always, be sure to check out our Patreon and the Weekly Events page! There are a lot of fun things happening this and every week! And don’t forget to check out the updated Book Clubs List!

THIS WEEK


Art:

Friday, December 23rd
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Cookie Decorating
Open to all ages! They’re going to provide the frosting and the sprinkles and the cookies, you bring the ability to assemble those items into little adorably decorated cookies! It’ll be a top-notch time.

Board Games:

Tuesday, December 20th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Palmer Library Game Night
Play board games at a Game Night! We’ve been playing a bunch of Pandemic: Legacy, you should take a chance to try out Pandemic: Not Legacy and see if that seems like a fun time. It’s a super nice game that works well, and even better in Legacy form!

Card Games:

Friday, December 23rd
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 10:30 PM
Friday Night Magic: Booster Draft
Draft cards, play magic, win prizes! A $16 entry fee includes tax, and gets you 3 booster packs to draft with, and adds a pack to the prize pool! Everyone gets at least 1 prize pack, and extra packs and foil cards will be awarded for exceptional play!

Comic Books:

Monday, December 19th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Queers in Comics and Games
A discussion group for excellent folks led by the inimitable manager of Modern Myths! It’s a great place to discuss comics and games, get recommendations, and meet friendly folks in a very nice store full of games and comics!

Entertainment:

Wednesday, December 21st
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Youth Holiday Bingo
Bingo! That’s what you say when you’re playing the game Bingo, a sort of live gambling game which we have to say seems like a lot of fun. It’s kind of just an attention-game, like multiple people can win at the same time but you need to be on point to shout out the keyword (bingo) first!
Thursday, December 22nd
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Anime Club
Anime! The sport of kings. We’ve heard a ton of good things about the anime Fullmetal Alchemist! The recent Brotherhood re-make of it is a lot shorter and well-regarded we think. The little kid in the suit of armor is so neat is mostly what we gathered from the series!

Movies:

Monday, December 19th
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM
Monday and a Movie for Teens: Great Unsung Women of Computing
A special screening of the movie Great Unsung Women of Computing! Learn about the mothers of computation, the people responsible in a direct manner for the very device upon which you read these words! There’s also popcorn and a discussion after the film!
Wednesday, December 21st
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 8:15 PM
Film Screening: Scrooged
Bill Murray in a classic tale of the fantastic: an extremely wealthy man coming to the understanding that other humans are worthwhile persons and not objects! Also it’s a retelling of the Dickens classic “A Christmas Carol”, it’s really funny and good!

RPGs:

Wednesday, December 21st
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
RPG Encounters: Star Wars
Did you like Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, About the Movie Star Wars Which You Watched and Enjoyed? Then play an RPG set in the universe! Did you not like Rogue One: A Star Wars Tale About the People in Star Wars? Well, you probably have strong opinions which you can express by playing an RPG set in the Stars Wars universe!
Thursday, December 22nd
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
RPG Club
Step inside another life! RPGs are fun time games for folks who like to play pretend around a table. You can basically play whatever, though Fake Medieval Place Role-playing is pretty much the most common.

Check Out These Copper Bookmarks Made at Goodwin Memorial Library!

Local Creator, metal-smith, and all-around nice person Heather Beck went to Goodwin Memorial Library yesterday to help some great folks make excellent copper bookmarks! They look cool as heck and we’re kind of annoyed we didn’t have a chance to produce one ourselves. It looks like a fun time making them, and the final products look legit as heck.

But don’t take our word for it, check them out below!

Not only do the final products of their work look awesome (The Empress is a personal favorite of ours) it’s also clear that the folks who were at the event have top-notch taste in books. We’ve got to go back and read all the Loki stuff…

Keep an eye out for further events at Goodwin Memorial! They do excellent stuff with regularity. And take a look at Heather Beck for more excellent work and training! Maybe commission a ring?

December 12th – December 18th

The Valley Nerd Watch!


Doctor Strange was not great! It was okay, it was really pretty, but it was also not very good as a story about a magical person. We love Doctor Strange in general, he’s a fun comic character because of how perpendicular to the rest of the Marvel world he is. He’s a person who could be hanging out with Literal Dracula or something on any given day, and he’s a bit aloof and old and odd, and that’s interesting in a superheroic universe.

In the movie he’s stuck as Origin Story Stephen Strange for the vast majority of the run-time, which means he’s a bargain-basement Doctor House. Then he learns to punch people, and that’s just not interesting. He’s a magician! He learns knife-magic and whip-magic and hitting. That’s so bland! Blech. The tail end of the movie does a clever thing that we liked, but the total number of “spells” in the film numbers about one and a half. For the majority of the film you could tell people it was a movie about the tech-folk in Mass Effect projecting hard-light holograms and it’d be almost the same. Beyond the trippy scenery, of course.

And we liked the trippy scenery! In some bits it was done spectacularly well. It just so happened to generally be an accompaniment to a danged foot chase. Which is just… not very neat.

Also the “sling ring” concept was a really transparent way to both have teleporting and have “oh no, we can’t get from A to B in time!” and it was silly as heck. It’s odd that it’s presented as being like a sorcerer’s cell phone. Like the infinite worlds of magic open up to you and oh also be sure to carry this ridiculous double-ring or you’ll never be able to travel quickly from one place to another.

Bah, disappointment abounded. Which is funny because had the movie come out a decade ago we would have been speechlessly overjoyed.

In other news, have you checked out the Escape Room at Eastworks yet? It’s really cool and fun, we highly recommend it!

Go check out the Valley Creators page! As always, be sure to check out our Patreon and the Weekly Events page! There are a lot of fun things happening this and every week! And don’t forget to check out the updated Book Clubs List!

THIS WEEK


Art:

Wednesday, December 14th
Goodwin Memorial Library [50 Middle St, Hadley, MA 01035] at 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM
Make Your Own Copper Bookmark
Local creator Heather Beck will be in attendance to teach you how to make a neat copper bookmark! It’s a little copper sheet that you can emboss with anything you like! Maybe a favorite quote from a book?
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Make Your Own Harry Potter Ornaments
Make a few ornaments related to the biggest book series probably ever to exist still. We’re pretty sure you’re not REQUIRED to stick to the theme, though. You could also make a few ornaments based on The Casual Vacancy or the Cormoran Strike series.
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM
NaNoWriMo Reading
Hear what NaNoWriMo participants wrote during the month-long challenge!
Thursday, December 15th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Cookies with a Curator: Forbes Library Art Collection with Faith Kaufmann
Join the library’s Art and Music librarian on a guided tour of the permanent art on display in the library! Also, eat cookies! Literally perfect.
Friday, December 16th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Submissions and Revisions
Submitting things to magazines and editors can be lonely and terrifying. Do it with friends nearby to lighten the load! There’s material available to help you, and you can shout “sent!” to receive a round of applause! When you’ve sent something, to clarify. If you just shout “sent!” over and over you’re going to get diminishing returns followed by some real negativity.
Saturday, December 17th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Mando Paradiso Concert
Mandolins are often called the guitar of kings, see the Mandolin group Mando Paradiso perform in the Coolidge Museum and confirm the eternal saying: who can strum a mandolin effectively, can make people say “dang, that’s good music that we like”.

Board Games:

Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Palmer Scholastic Chess Tournament
There are four sections: K-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12. It’s a 4-round Swiss System and there are trophies for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. Entry is free! Compete in the game commonly called the Dance of Dragons!

Books:

Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Local Author David Austin reads from his new book Therese’s Dream – Maine to Darfur: A Doctor’s Story
Dr. Austin will read from his book detailing his time working with Doctors Without Borders, and helps to illustrate the common humanity of people around the world.
Sunday, December 18th
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art [125 West Bay Rd., Amherst, MA 01002] at 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Celebrating the Jewish Experience in Children’s Books
An afternoon celebrating the best Jewish books for children! Meredith Lewis, Director of Content and Engagement at the PJ Library, will moderate a panel discussion. The discussion will feature five winners of the Association of Jewish Libraries’ Sydney Taylor Book Award! There will be a signing afterward!

Community:

Saturday, December 17th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
FAFSA Q&A
College is costly! Reduce that cost if at all possible! It’ll follow you to death and beyond. The Reaper will stand before you, demanding you finish paying your loans before you can pass beyond the veil. That’s right: college loans are where ghosts come from. Make them as small as you can by attending this helpful course!

Computers:

Tuesday, December 13th
MYSTERY LOCATION at 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM
Monthly Full Stack Meetup: Building Shell Tools with node.js
Learn how to do interesting things with JavaScript in this hour-long presentation! You’ll come out of it no smarter than when you went in, but filled to the brim with ideas about the ends to which you may turn Node.js!
Wednesday, December 14th
Last Call Media [136 West St., Suite 01, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Agile Methods Meetup
Are you an Agile developer? Do you move quickly and efficiently through your various development tasks? Or are you interested in learning to dodge those development pitfalls? This is the perfect place to come to learn, or to share your knowledge! Pizza will be served!
Thursday, December 15th
Last Call Media [136 West St., Suite 01, Northampton, MA 01060] at 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
December 2016 Western Mass Drupal Users Group Meeting
Due in part to a conflict later in the day, this one is going to be a bit different! It’ll start early and involve a “work together” session for an hour or two, where people can answer questions for each other. If there are no questions, they’re going to dive into the agenda topic: Desktop environment comparison!
Northampton Community TV [380 Elm St., Northampton, MA] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
WordPress Developers and Admins
Talk about current projects, problems you have and solutions ot them, and customizing WordPress plugins and styles. There are only 20 seats, so RSVP here  soon to ensure you get a seat! It’s a great chance to expand your WordPress skills!

Kids:

Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Laser Tag in the Library
Lasers! Too dangerous for our children? Nonsense, we say! Light up the night and carve the library into neat cauterized cubes with what we can only assume are high-powered laser beams. Don’t know what the “tag” part is implying. Suitable for kids in 5th – 8th grade!

Movies:

Wednesday, December 14th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Rising Voices
A documentary about the Lakota Indian community and about the linguists they’re working with to save the Lakota language and restore it to use in the Lakota and the American culture. It’s a snapshot of the day-to-day struggles of one of the biggest Native American nations, and an examination of the problem of language loss.
Saturday, December 17th
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 2:30 PM to 3:30 PM
Holiday Film: Irving Berlin’s White Christmas
See a charming old film about Christmas at the Jones Library! It’s one of those cute old musicals where everything ends in a dozen people proposing marriage at the same time.

Science:

Monday, December 12th
The World War 2 Club [50 Conz St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Nerd Nite NoHo: Journalism and Drones
Drones! The very word has taken on a bit of a tinge of terror now that we’ve gotten used to the idea they mostly exist as high-altitude bombers. But what about drones that deliver useful things instead of explosions? We’ll hear a bit about that from Craig Issod. Then Rodrigo Zamith will talk about how journalism and polling managed to predict the Presidential election going one way when it went the other. Though then again a lot of them said “this result has a 20% chance of happening” and then it happened. We’ve caught Pokemon with a 1% chance of appearing, you know? Anyway. This month, 50% of the proceeds go to the Southern Poverty Law Center!

December 5th – December 11th

The Valley Nerd Watch!


We finished Pokemon and good news folks it’s still very cute, extremely cute. You get to pet cute animals, an experience that should really be a mandatory part of any decent videogame.

Also! We got a chance to check out Pandemic: Legacy this past week! It’s spectacular. We can’t believe how well it was paced for our first playthrough with the Legacy rules in place. Vanilla Pandemic is already a really fun game, but dang did it take it the experience to new heights to watch the board shift permanently under stress and to be forced to make new types of decisions in the pursuit of a cure.

In case we haven’t already told you a dozen times, the Legacy series of games are the brainchild of the Valley’s own Rob Daviau! He’s good at designing games that are fun and unique.

One of the nicest parts of the Legacy series is the way it encourages you to set up a regular time to have fun with good pals. That can be really hard to do when you’re a busy person, and we appreciate any chance to do so!

We’re really excited for the second season of the game. You can pick up season one at local shops like Modern Myths, Off the Wall, Greenfield Games, or Worlds Apart Games!

Go check out the Valley Creators page! As always, be sure to check out our Patreon and the Weekly Events page! There are a lot of fun things happening this and every week! And don’t forget to check out the updated Book Clubs List!

THIS WEEK


Art:

Tuesday, December 6th
Mead Art Museum [41 Quadrangle Dr, Amherst, MA 01002] at 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Materiality at the Mead with Carol Clark
A closer look at the huge bronze sculptures at the Mead! They’re neat as heck, and Carol Clark the Professor Emerita of Art and the History of Art will teach you about them! Lunch is also provided so it’s kind of like they’re paying YOU to learn about art, excellent.
Mead Art Museum [41 Quadrangle Dr, Amherst, MA 01002] at 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Conversation, Reception, and Book-Signing: “Elegy” by Justin Kimball
Professor of Art Justin Kimball and Mead Art Museum Director and Chief Curator David E. Little will have a conversation about Kimball’s latest book, Elegy, followed by a reception and book signing! Free and open to the public.
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM
Theater and Storytelling Workshop
UMass theater student Miguel Paredes will lead a monthly workshop where students craft their own stories through movement and theater techniques! RSVP with the library so they can get a headcount.
Wednesday, December 7th
Holyoke Public Library [250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA 01040] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Keep Calm & Needlework On!
Needlework is fun! Go do some needlework with nice folks and have a great time doing it.
Friday, December 9th
Smith College Museum of Art [20 Elm St, Northampton, MA 01063] at 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Free Second Friday
Do you like museums but hate paying? Check out our own wonderful local museum and please do donate they need money to make the museum so neat.
Mead Art Museum [41 Quadrangle Dr, Amherst, MA 01002] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
About Zanele Muholi
Rhonda Cobham-Sander, Professor of English and Black Studies at Amherst College, in conversation with Wendy Ewald, photographer and visiting artist-in-residence at Amherst College followed by a reception!
Saturday, December 10th
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Emily Dickinson’s Birthday Celebration and Open House
The 186th birthday of Emily Dickinson is a cause for celebration at the museum! IT’s an open house where you’ll be able to see the completed conservatory, tour the Homestead, and visit the Evergreens for free guided tours. Decorate a miniature pot with words and images and then plant seeds from the Dickinson garden in them! And eat coconut cake made from Emily’s own recipe! More info about the schedule here.

Board Games:

Saturday, December 10th
Burger King Community Room [344 King St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 12:30 PM to 5:00 PM
Tabletop Gaming Day
Join friends for a day of gaming at the little hidden backroom of the Burger King! They mostly do Euro-style games like Agricola or Settlers of Catan or anything else that abstracts farm work into wooden cubes, but they’re open to whatever you find interesting!
Sunday, December 11th
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Sunday Heroclix
Heroes! Click into action! This time only use heroes whose costumes include a cape, because capes are neat!

Books:

Saturday, December 10th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 10:00 AM to 1:30 PM
Friends of Greenfield Public Library Book Sale
Buy some books while supporting a wonderful local library! You’ll get amazing deals on all those volumes of forgotten lore you’ve been meaning to read.
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art [125 West Bay Rd., Amherst, MA 01002] at 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
The Best of the Best in 2016
Susan Bloom and Cathie Mercier from the Center for the Study of Children’s Literature at Simmons College will share their favorite books of 2016!
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Children’s Authors Group Signing with Corinne Demas, Grace Lin, Patricia MacLachlan, Bob Marstall, Heidi Stemple, and Jane Yolen
Join a bunch of amazing children’s book authors for a group signing! It’s a great time to get a gift for the kids in your life!
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Book Signing with Romola M. Rigali, Wayne E. Phaneuf, and Joseph Carvalho III authors of On Being Italian: A Story of Food, Family, and Faith
Former managing editor at The Republican and now a freelance editor and writer, Romola M. Rigali, wrote a ton of articles about her Italian heritage in this delightful collection of stories about being Italian! Get the book and get it signed, it sounds neat! Lots of pictures of Springfield’s iconic South End by photographer James Langone.

Comic Books:

Sunday, December 11th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Comic Creator’s Jam
Join a bunch of fun folks who work on comics to talk about comics and working on comics and just generally hanging out and doing artwork and being friendly with people! It is a Great Time!

Community:

Wednesday, December 7th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
FAFSA Q&A
Learn about the FAFSA! Get slightly less indebted to the college of your choice. Also for real, go to a cheap school folks. Go to 2 years of community college maybe, trust us. It’s SO MUCH MONEY to go to a 4-year institution it’s literally impossible to understand it. Get all the financial support you can!
Saturday, December 10th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:15 PM to 4:45 PM
Happier for the Holidays: How to Tackle Your Holiday Stress
Holidays: sometimes a ton of fun, sometimes wildly stressful! Learn how to make them more fun than stressful from Julia Mines, a life and leadership coach and speaker. As an alternate path to holiday stresslessness you can also just celebrate a week after the holiday so you’ve got no reason to be stressed on the day!

Computers:

Tuesday, December 6th
The Foundry [24 Main St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Northampton Webdive – After Work
A regular meetup of folks who code! No need to bring your laptop, just go hang out with folks who code and talk to them about how annoying seg faults are or why you love vim and hate sublime or love sublime and hate vim. Or just talk about literally anything, the premise is you all do the same general day job/hobby, it’s not like you’re required to bring your work into the conversation.
Thursday, December 8th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Introduction to Computers – The Future of Technology
Peer into the vast unknown! Discuss the current and future trends in tech, including smart phones, VR, the creation of robot duplicate bodies to store our consciousness, everything!

Entertainment:

Wednesday, December 7th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
First Wednesday Speaker Series: Danielle Beaudette of the Cozy Tea Cart
Learn the basics of tea, including where it’s from and the differences between tea blends and herbal blends? There will also be some teas for tasting!
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Teen Gingerbread House Decorating
Make a small house, a large house, a castle, or even a house so large it encompasses the very rock of the world. Make a gingerbread house large enough to shake the foundations of the universe. Make one that collapses into a neutron star and throws Earth out of its orbit! There will be plenty of graham crackers and candy to make the house special. RSVP at the library or call 413-665-2642.
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM
The Mystery and Meaning of the Twelve Days of Christmas
“The Twelve Days of Christmas is a popular Christmas song which people generally sing with great gusto but with almost no understanding. The basic premise of Dr. Bernard’s book is that there is a logic to the twelve sequences. His hypothesis is that the lyrics reveal a cartographic code of an esoteric route map by which pilgrims in the Middle Ages could make the long journey from England to Jerusalem.” – We’ve got absolutely no capacity to comment on the likelihood of this hypothesis, so check it out if it sounds interesting to you! Report back on the quality of the research. Five hundred words, no adverbs or adjectives.
Thursday, December 8th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Anime Club
Anime is pretty interesting in general. Maybe go watch some with folks? There’s a lot to choose from and we’re familiar with like 4 total shows. Is the Persona anime any good? We really liked the Persona games.
Friday, December 9th
Downtown Northampton at 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Downtown Northampton Holiday Stroll
If you have at some point forgotten that you live in a quaint and delightful area, try strolling downtown this holiday season! It sounds fun. Bunches of people put out stuff for you to do and see and there are lights and the whole main drag downtown is shut down for a bit. There are s’mores!
Smith College Museum of Art [20 Elm St, Northampton, MA 01063] at 1:10 PM to 2:00 PM
Public Lecture by Beverly Morgan-Welch
Associate Director for External Affairs, National Museum of African American History and Culture will reflect on her career in museums, including her role in launching the national museum of African American History and Culture. Learn about museums from an expert!
Saturday, December 10th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Doctor Who Club
Wait what’s this doctor they’re discussing? Why are people so interested in this doctor. Which doctor? Wait, doctor… whom? Anyway go hang out and watch Doctor Who and eat snacks, it’s a good time with cool folks!

Movies:

Friday, December 9th
Rave Motion Pictures (West Springfield) [864 Riverdale St., West Springfield, MA] at 6:45 PM to 9:00 PM
Spirited Away – Special Screening
Subtitled Spirited Away! Hang with the folks at Pioneer Valley Geeks and Gamers at this special screening by RSVPing here!

RPGs:

Thursday, December 8th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Dungeons and Dragons
Play the most well-known RPG in the world, probably? Wait, is there another system that’s hugely possible in other languages? Anyway! It’s really popular and this is a chance to play it with some excellent folks in a friendly setting.
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
RPG Club
Step outside yourself for a bit and role-play another person! A hero? A villain? A clever rogue, a hulking fighter? Whatever you like, you can be! In the game. Outside of the game a lot of this would require some real long-term skill building and very specific career paths.

Science:

Monday, December 5th
Union Station [125 Pleasant St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Scitech Cafe: Remote Sensing: A Tool for Ecological Management
If an Asian Longhorn Beetle lands in Worcester, how long will it take to reach Northampton? How is remote sensing used to predict the next high-risk area for Lyme Disease? What tools are used to predict movements, and is there anything that moves that can’t be modeled? Professor Thomas Millette, Professor of Geography at Mount Holyoke College has been studying these questions for years around the world, allow him to enlighten you!
Thursday, December 8th
Nacul Center [592 Main St., Amherst, MA] at 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
OEB Science Cafe: Surfing a Heat Wave: The Challenges Faced by Migratory and Desert Birds in a Changing Climate
Dr. Alex Gerson will discuss the incredible challenges of birds who migrate as they enter the era that will, should history books remain in publication in the future, be known as “Whoooooops”. Learn why migration, an incredibly difficult process, developed in birds. Learn what new challenges they face thanks to us!