Latest Stories, Events, Activities, Camps & Recipes

Kids will explore Maudslay State Park with Joppa Flats Education Center in Newburyport!
In every kind of weather, our favorite thing is to head outdoors to our spectacular local habitats to see what's new! We love to find things, think about colors, shapes and patterns, and wonder why this place is a special home to wildlife. Each nature exploration will focus on the importance of a sense of place. Local and migrating birds, other wildlife, collecting techniques, and environmental awareness will be presented in a fun, energetic format that adults and children alike will enjoy. Meet at Maudslay State Park, Newburyport . $2.00 parking fee. Hosted by Joppa Flats Education Center. Please dress for the weather. 
Location: Maudslay State Park
Come celebrate the longest night - Winter Solstice - at Joppa Flats Education Center in Newburyport
Come celebrate the longest night and shortest day of the year with Joppa Flats! Miss Mary and Miss Susan offer stories, songs, crafts made of evergreens, and thematic snacks for everyone to enjoy. Learn why we have seasons, and why different cultures around the world created legends and rituals to mark the longest night of the year. Join us for a festival of light to beckon the sun to return!
Location: Joppa Flats Education Center
Come celebrate the Winter solstice at Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary with a night time walk using lanterns!
Throughout time, people have come together to celebrate the shortest day of the year and welcome the lengthening days ahead. Sanctuary staff and volunteers invite you to join us for this beautiful candlelit event. Lantern making begins at 4:00 pm, followed by some solstice stories and folklore. With lanterns in hand, we will stroll the trails to light up the night. We will serve hot cider and cocoa at the bonfire on our return.
Location: Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary
Kids will learn about how animals get ready for Winter months at Joppa Flats Education Center in Newburyport
This parent/child program is designed for the creative, curious, and active preschooler. Each 90-minute session offers a structured series of activities including original songs, movement, dramatic play, hands-on science, and a thematic snack. You'll receive coloring pages, song lyrics, vocabulary, a fun fact sheet, and a suggested reading list in an electronic goody bag! This week we'll be focusing on how animals and other creatures keep warm in the wild.
Location: Joppa Flats Education Center
The lighting of the Lobster Trap Tree is part of Middle Street Walk's finale.
The Annual Middle Street Walk is a great way to experience Gloucester's Historic District while having fun with the family. The Festivities begin at 11 am and go all the way through to the lighting of the lobster pot tree in downtown Gloucester! Pick up a Schedule of Events and get your walk on!  A whole day of FREE activities, shows and events await for all the members of the family. 
Location: Downtown Gloucester
Come enjoy a Nutcracker Panto performed by Theater in the Open at the Firehouse Center for the Arts!
The tree is lit up and the stockings are hung and Clara’s Christmas is perfect…except for her Uncle Drosselmeyer sitting up on that clock and the sudden rat infestation…sounds like panto time!Edward Speck and Joshua Shack return to direct another cracking holiday panto, this time seizing on Tchaikovsky’s classic holiday tale to do what panto does best: make a favorite old story new and particular to our place and time again. What does Clara’s magical journey have to teach us? How many nuts would a nutcracker crack if a nutcracker could crack nuts? Let’s find out! Come with us as panto and ballet collide in a delicious mix of sugar plums and pies-in-the-face, dance and comedy, fairies and snowballs, in A Nutcracker Panto!
Location: Firehouse Center for the Arts
You may run in to the Nisee at The Trsutees' Appleton Farms this time of year!
The Nisse – a farm elf from Scandinavian folklore – will visit Appleton Farms. While we wait for the Nisse to awake from his slumber in the hayloft, there will be children's holiday crafts, cookies and hot chocolate, and carolers. Upon his decent from the hayloft, the Nisse must be offered his porridge. If his porridge isn't just right, he will play tricks on the farmers and tie the cows tails in knots! If he likes his porridge, he will let us help spread the magic seeds bringing good fortune to the farm in the year ahead.
Location: Appleton Farms
Celebrate the start of the Christmas Season in downtown Manchester, Mass!
As part of the Christmas-by-the-Sea celebrations in Manchester there will be a Christmas concert at the First Parish Church and the tree lighting ceremony at Manchester Town Green immediately after the concert. This is also the kickoff of Manchester's Festival of the Trees by the Sea.  Come enjoy the community spirit of the holidays and make lasting Holiday memories for your children!
Location: Downtown Manchester-by-the-Sea, First Parish Church , Manchester Town Green
Come explore the food webs of the forest at Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary!
Walk with us through the forest to see how the changing season affects animals, trees, and plants. Examine tree holes and look for animals in the leaves. Whatever we find, we will explore, but we'll focus on what is eating and being eaten in the woods.
Location: Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary
Hamilton-Wenham Community Sing and tree lighting
The Community House Of Hamilton & Wenham invites children to bring their own flashlight or glowsticks for the tree and gazebo lighting and a Christmas Carol Sing for all ages! Brian Doser, Peter Stewart and Joe Scuderi team up for an exciting musical evening with a few Special Guests. Booklets of carols are provided. A half hour of singing followed by cocoa, cookies, lighting the Gazebo and downtown Christmas Tree. A great way to kick off your Christmas celebrations.
Location: Community House Of Hamilton & Wenham