The Trustees’ public gardens are a living documentary of Massachusetts horticulture and design traditions. We are celebrating those gardens, many of which are part of the landscapes of our historic homes, at Home Sweet Home—our annual Open House Day—this year. Come experience all the beauty, history, and unique stories contained within each home, as well as the exquisitely designed gardens and stunning natural landscapes that continue to inspire creative minds to this day. Whether you're a garden lover, an architecture aficionado, a plein air painter, or simply curious, we have a house for you to explore.
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
The Motif No.1 Day Festival celebrates Rockport across the arts! M1D honors the fishing shack, artist’s studio, and tourist attraction that started it all: an old building right on one of Rockport’s historic wharves, a building painted so often by artists at the turn of the last century that it was given the nickname Motif No.1.
Maudslay State Park fields and forests of Maudslay hide some spectacular secrets! Join the park interpreter on a tour of the former Moseley Family estate to view the house sites, gardens and farm complex area and relive the estate days of old. Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring water, bug spray recommended.
Take a step back in time and enjoy a spring day on the farm. Enjoy traditional New England music, sheep-shearing, and wagon rides and cheer on your favorite teams of the Essex Base Ball Association as they play using 1860s rules. At these fun, historically accurate games, players pitch underhand, a ball bounced once and caught is an out, and no gloves are allowed.
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.
It’s winter. The air inside is stale, you just ate a bag of chips for lunch, and the couch is calling your name. There’s stuff you should be doing, but you’re just not feeling it – and yet another nap seems so boring. We have just the thing to make you feel tip top in no time! Join us for an energetic hike around the Crane Estate! Route will be determined by weather. The pace will be brisk, the air will be fresh, the chips will be burned off, and you’ll leave feeling invigorated!
This hike starts at the Barn on the Crane Estate, and wanders down to the Cedar Point Trail where many of our spring-time birds are busy getting settled. On the way, kids will use their skills of observation to see what kinds of birds are starting to show up – where are they hanging out, and what are they doing? What do they sound like? Then we’ll head to the Pine Grove where we’ll collect pine cones to make unique bird feeders for you to hang up at home. Our adventure will end with hot chocolate and s’mores around a camp fire in the Pine Grove.
This hike will test our skills of observation! We’ll trek through the dunes and forest of the Crane Wildlife Refuge, keeping our eyes peeled for wonders in the wilderness; and for some things that don’t belong out in Nature as well. Each child will have the opportunity to make a notebook that can be used as a field guide to record what we see and hear on our hike. We’ll end our trek with hot chocolate and cookies.
Join naturalists from Joppa Flats Education Center on a nocturnal hike through Rough Meadows underneath the Hunger Moon! We'll peek at the stars, go on stealth walks, and investigate the behaviors that animals use to survive the cold New England winter. We'll return to Joppa Flats for hot cocoa and s'mores over the fire pit. This is a tween/teen program.
House of Seven Gables celebrates Salem's So Sweet with a day of festive events including Ice Sculpture Viewing, Cookier Decorating, Family Valentine Crafts, Love Letter Reading, and free admission to this historic American landmark. Fall in love with The House of Seven gables all over again during Salem So Sweet. Join Salem Park, Recreation and Community Services for a family Valentine workshop with sweet treats. Children must be accompanied by an adult. The workshop will be led by Linda Abbene. This is a free event, however pre-registration is required in order to have enough supplies.