Joppa Flats Education Center invites families to join them for a full day of free outdoor and indoor nature activities, art projects, and biodiversity! Connecting with nature starts with developing a good sense of place, and a great place to start is right here at Joppa Flats. This full-day family event will feature an exciting mixture of indoor and outdoor activities that encourage children and adults to learn more about the biodiversity of all the animals, plants, and insects that frequent our butterfly garden, salt marsh, and backyard!
Essex National Heritage Area sites offer over 150 free family fun events over two weekends each September for the annual celebration of TRAILS & SAILS. Participants can hike, bike, paddle, stroll or sail through the region and Essex National Heritage Area will provide a passport to fun and adventure. It’s all FREE and it’s all located within the 34 cities and towns of Essex County. You can read more about it Trails & Sails 2018
Essex Heritage would like to invite visitors (ages 4+) to come and build their very own model lighthouse using every day materials! Special guest instructor and children’s book illustrator, Katy Bratun, will be leading this family friendly craft starting at 1:00pm at the NPS Visitor Center in Salem.
Warmer spring weather means its sheep shearing time on the farm. But what to do with all that wool? Learn about the time honored tradition of wool felting. We’ll start by learning how to “card” the raw wool into soft fiber for spinning or felting. Afterwards, we’ll try our hand at making felt balls to be used for farm-fun necklaces. Wool, wood beads and decorative string will be provided, but feel free to bring anything special of your own to add to your necklace. Recommended for ages 5-9.
While Spring is the time of new growth, it may still be too cold for fresh flowers or green grass. Bring some green life inside with an easy and adorable mason jar terrarium. We’ll use glass mason jars, gravel, soil, mosses and plants to create a miniature natural world that can stay on your desk or windowsill. You’ll leave with a mini terrarium of your own, plus the skills to make bigger ones at home. All materials provided. Recommended for ages 7-10 but all are welcome. Kids must attend with adult, but there is no additional charge. Pre-registration is required.
Celebrate spring by building a bluebird house with your child. We’ll supply all the materials and instruction to build a nest box for bluebirds and tree swallows. These wonderful nest boxes also attract chickadees, tufted titmice, house wrens, and woodpeckers. A short slide presentation will introduce families to the natural history and behavior of birds in Massachusetts, and we’ll discuss where and how to place your nest box. Dress for the weather because we will take a short walk to look and listen for bluebirds.
This parent/child program is designed for the creative, curious, and active preschooler who loves animals. Each 90-minute session offers a structured series of activities including original songs, movement, dramatic play, hands-on science, and a thematic snack. We are going to learn about the journey our backyard birds have made from the south to the north, what they will do now that they are here and we’ll get to learn all about bird nests and explain why we are hearing so many birds in the morning now! We’ll make a bird nest snack and a great take-home craft to welcome in spring! Bring your rain boots so we can venture out into the riverside yard and see/listen for our returning birds!
This parent/child program is designed for the creative, curious, and active preschooler who loves animals. 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!
Looking for something to do during school vacation? Come with us as we search for shapes in the wrackline to print and press. We’ll start with a walk on the beach to find shells and seaweed, then head to the Barn to learn how to transfer our treasures to t-shirts and art paper. A variety of fish species (the rubber kind!) will be available to print from as well. Bring your creative imagination – and a smock!
Let's celebrate winter as we look at this beautiful season through storybooks, art, and music. Weather permitting, we'll take a riverside walk in Joppa Flats' backyard and experience the frozen artistry of the season. Later we'll create artwork that reminds us of the winter joys we found together.
Joppa Flats Education Center vacation programs offer a wide variety of indoor and outdoor activities while we keep minds active and hands busy during school break. Each session offers a different theme, with art activities, experiments, group games, and scheduled family presentations for everyone. It's free-flow learning for the whole family. Come once or make it a multiple-day adventure; drop in for an hour or stay all day for a vacation activity that suits your family schedule. Families are encouraged to dress in their amazing Arctic animal clothes and children can bring their favorite Arctic / Antarctic toy animal for the presentations!