Winter Habits and Winter Movement

Animals respond and adapt to the winter by burmiating, aestivation, hibernation, migration, and embracing the snow! Learn about all the cool ways animals thrive in the winter through interactive stations, games, creative movement, investigations of art and nature, and creating original art projects for the whole family! Families can cut, glue, and construct original printmaking blocks in the shapes of animal feet, claws, paws. Attaching your block to your feet, print life-like animal tracks to make abstract paintings to take home.

Families are encouraged to sign up ($20/individual kid, $30/family). To limit numbers, we will divide sign ups into two groups. One at 1:00pm and one at 2:30pm. Everyone who attends this outdoor workshop must wear a mask and appropriately social distance. For questions, please email Caroline Provos at

In the event of bad weather, we will reschedule the workshop to another date.

Painting the Northern Lights

Learn about how gaseous particles combine with the Earth and sun’s atmosphere to create impressive auroral colors, scattered clouds of light, and shapes in the northern and southern hemisphere! Follow a little girl named Aurora and her caribou friend as they fill the sky with beautiful hues as we read the beautiful children’s book Aurora and the Northern Lights. Translate the brilliant forms of streamers, arcs, rippling curtains into elegant watercolor paintings. Study key painting techniques and experiment with different non-toxic medium combinations to capture our observations of nature’s magic!

Art and Birding Workshop

People are becoming more aware of the birds in their own backyards during quarantine, and many more people are becoming birders. This silver lining of taking more time to notice and listen to the life around us is one that I hope we can carry with us beyond these challenging times. In this class we will focus on the group of birds known as seabirds. There are many species of seabirds that are foraging just offshore in the Winter, so now is a great time to learn a little bit more about the beautiful seabirds that call MA home during this season. We will start with a slide show illustrating many of the species you can expect to see, and some of the coastal areas that are best for spotting them. We will then draw (or paint, if you have watercolors) a particular species of seabird from a photo. This class will be very interactive and allow for questions about local birds that participants are seeing and hearing.
As a life-long artist and biologist, I love to teach the art of noticing – let go of what you think something should look like, and notice the shapes and darks and lights first, not the overall outline of an object. We will work on pencil drawings of birds by experimenting with techniques (shading and smudging, etc.), focusing on ways to make our drawings look most realistic. If we have time (and participants have paints) we will also practice some watercolor techniques for painting waterfowl and water. I have really enjoyed teaching parents and their children together – often kids feel a little more free to make mistakes if they see their parents willing to try and try again.

Materials: pencil, paper, eraser; watercolor optional; binoculars and field guide to birds helpful but not required.

Classes will be held virtually using Zoom and Google Classroom depending on the teacher’s preference. For questions email Caroline Provost at

These one-day workshops are offered through The Umbrella @ Home virtual classes winter session. See all offerings at

Kids Cook-Lava Cake

Wellness coach Julie Manning will lead kids in a microwave cooking class and teach you to make a lava cake! Kids of all ages welcome, but younger children will need a grown-up’s assistance.

The virtual cooking program will be held on Zoom. Ingredient list will be shared with all participants before the program.

This cooking program happens on the last Tuesday of each month at 5 pm. Sign up for any or all workshops!

Winter is for the Birds!

If winter is getting you down, why not lift your spirits by making some gifts for the birds in your yard? In this outdoor, in-person workshop, we will be crafting a simple coffee mug bird feeder and a nesting ball. This is truly the gift that keeps on giving because you will be delighted by all the bird watching available! Please bring an old coffee mug for us to repurpose. All other supplies will be provided!

Families are encouraged to sign up ($20/individual kid, $30/family). To limit numbers, we will divide sign ups into two groups. One at 2:00pm and one at 4:00pm. Everyone who attends this outdoor workshop must wear a mask and appropriately social distance. For questions, please email Caroline Provos at

Umbrella Co-presents Programs for 18th Annual Family Festival, Virtual Edition

Belmont World Film Family Festival, Workshops 2021

January 15-24

Belmont World Film’s Family Festival provides children age 3-12 the opportunity to see some of the world’s most remarkable films—films that provide a window into the lives of kids in other cultures, races, and ethnicities—as well as several educational workshops and opportunities to meet filmmakers from around the world.

This year, The Umbrella is pleased to co-present creative workshops led by famed claymation studio Aardman‘s (Wallace & GromitChicken RunShaun the Sheep) Senior Model Maker, Jim Parkyn, making beloved characters Gromit or Shaun the Sheep. If you’ve taken The Umbrella’s popular @Home Digital Animation classes — or just love claymation — you won’t want to miss the opportunity to learn from this modeling master! Space is limited, and Umbrella families receive a special 10% discount, so it is recommended that you sign up early and leave time to collect clay materials you’ll need. See the workshop options below.

The Umbrella is also pleased to co-present Jackie & Oopjen, a charming and hilarious new feature set in Amsterdam, where one of the subjects of a famous Rembrandt painting comes to life and sets out from the Rijksmuseum with a young girl on a modern adventure.

And, adults and kids alike may be interested in joining a two-day workshop on film criticism led by friend-of-The Umbrella Joyce Kulhawik and Boston Globe film critics Ty Burr and Peter Keough, on January 16 & 17.

Most films will be available for streaming for the full 10 days, from Friday, January 15 @ 10 AM to Sunday, January 24 at 7 PM. Once you start a film, you will have 48 hours in which to finish it. Film and Workshop Only Tickets, Multi-Film Passes, and a Full Festival Passes (providing RSVP admission to all films and workshops) are available.

Umbrella Arts Families Special: Use Umbrella code OVINTT4FVU4O6D0-UMB for 10% discount on films, passes, and workshops (subject to availability). 

Fresh Start: Starting 2021 with Healthy Habits ~ Sponsored by the Auxiliary of Emerson Hospital

Join us for another virtual event in our wellness series as panelists discuss behavior and food. There will be suggestions for healthy snacks, comfort foods, and lifestyle changes. We will also explore ways to stay active and exercise ideas at home during the winter months.

Panelists include:
*Molly Deisroth-Kim – Clinical Exercise Specialist
*Amy Noordzij, MEd – Culinary Instructor at The Virginia Thurston Healing Garden, Founder of Love Soup
*Julia Elliott, RD, LDN – Emerson Hospital Cardiac Rehab Clinical Dietitian

Moderated by Kathryn Lorusso, NTP – Nutritional Therapy Practitioner

Registration is required for this free event. Zoom conference details will be sent to registrants.
Click on this invitation link to register or visit

Please share this event with family and friends by forwarding this invitation.
We hope you can attend!

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Letters from the Library

Letters to Children from the Concord Free Public Library

Would your child like to receive their own special personalized letter from our library staff?

Click the link to complete a form and let us know what your child is reading and what his/her interests are and we will write a letter to the child!

Please allow for up to two weeks for your child’s letter to arrive.