The Ipswich River is the perfect place to start your children canoeing. We'll pair up two adults and two children per canoe and take a leisurely paddle up the river. We'll stop off in one of the backwater areas and do some dipping in the river to get a closer look at the creatures that live under the surface. On our return, we'll enjoy a snack at the picnic tables by the Nature Center and talk about what we discovered. Bring a blanket and we'll provide a sweet treat.
Events that include exploration
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 via email. In these sessions we'll explore migration and the creatures that cover great distances during their trips!
NEW PROGRAM! Come to Joppa Flats after school, and join Lisa Hutchings and her animal husbandry team for a fascinating look at feeding time for the marine life in our 110-gallon touch tank. With the help of Joppa's digital hand-held microscope, you'll see sand dollars channeling food into their mouths and green sea urchins wiggling tube feet and spines. You’ll help us identify, sort, and feed a wide variety of crabs and mollusks. Watch our horseshoe crab devour sea worms and hermit crabs "beg" for supper. As a special treat, we'll show you our newest inhabitants, 8-inch-wide sea stars and a young lobster!
New England Tractor Championship pull off at Crescent Farms, Bradford MA. Put on by Essex County Tractor & Crescent Farms. You like to show off your fancy car? These farmers like to show off their tractors!! Tractor Pull open to the public Admission is FREE
Imagine the biggest puzzle you’ve ever seen. Now imagine a day in the sunshine with your friends or family. Now add an adventure that takes teamwork and memory skills. All these things and more can be found at Crescent Farms Corn Maze. Crescent Farm Corn Maze trails cut into 9 acres of corn. Inside the tall field of corn, we have cut several walking paths, creating a Maze with only one way in and one way out. Visitors can enjoy getting lost in the maze’s twisting turns and dead ends trap!
U. S. National Park Service hosts a 45 minute slide lecture will be provided in the auditorium on gardens of the Colonial period, from early settlement until the time of the Revolution. The purposes of these gardens, popular garden styles and layouts, and a selection of popular and useful plants, will be among the topics discussed.
U. S. National Park Rangers host an event at Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site for Trails and Sails! Join the staff as we compare and contrast the differences of two water sources within the park, the Saugus River and the Saugus estuary. Take part in hands on water testing of two bodies of water less than 200 yards apart. Explore the “checkup” of the water by participating in a few simple tests to determine how healthy the waters are. Part of Trails & Sails 2017.
Come and join us for this family fishing experience! Go to the Accessible Trail parking lot at 40 Asbury Street (left turn just inside the park gates past the old gray farm house) for a FREE drop-in program for ages 6+. Follow the trail fishing signs for a short walk to the fishing spot. Learn how to fish, what fish live in the Ipswich River, and how to catch and release responsibly. No experience or license required.
In every kind of weather, we love to head outdoors to our spectacular local habitats, so join us for one, two, or more of these nature explorations! Each one will focus on the importance of a sense of place as we explore the ecology, sights, and sounds of our natural landscape. Wildlife, local and migrating birds, collecting techniques, and environmental awareness will be presented in a fun, energetic format that adults and children alike will enjoy.
Join a ranger for a tour of a beautiful spot that few people visit: Nelson Island. If we’re lucky, we might catch a glimpse of a nesting osprey. Learn about the history of this little known refuge jewel. If weather and tide permits, we’ll take a very short walk along the marsh. (Muddy, wet areas are possible so rubber boots are recommended.) Consider bringing binoculars and/or a camera. *Please note: Those who call and leave messages after hours, your registration is not confirmed until you receive a confirmation call from a refuge staff member.