These fun-filled morning programs are perfect for you and your active preschooler! Our structured activities include hands-on science, music and movement, a thematic snack, and an outdoor adventure if the weather complies. Keep learning with coloring pages and follow-up activities to continue the fun at home.
As backyard birds head south for the winter, let's give them a proper send-off with a fun, free family event that features bird banding demonstrations, interactive games about bird migration, and lots of table-top science. Younger children will enjoy our crafts and games, while older children can get involved in physics and engineering fun! Preregistration is not required. children must be accompanied by an adult. Family presentations will be offered at half-past each hour.
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.
There's a walk in the woods... and then there's a walk in the woods with a naturalist. Bring your friends for a pre-Thanksgiving guided walk to discover the world of nature as plants and animals prepare for winter. Sanctuary naturalists will lead small groups as they venture out to Averill's Island, to find some of the sanctuary’s oldest trees. We will stop along the way to hear stories of those who lived on the land before us and learn more about the fascinating cultural history of the sanctuary. Look for animal signs as we hike through the woodlands and marshes, taking in the beauty of the muted colors of late autumn. Walks are approximately 2 hours and 3 miles in length.
Before you settle in for the long winter ahead, bring your family to unplug, stretch your legs, and give thanks for the great outdoors and all its beauty. Journey back in time with a Mass Audubon naturalist as your guide as we look for signs from long ago of the people and wildlife who once lived here, and some who still do. You will have a chance to see and touch old tools and artifacts, learn the names and stories of the towering trees that reach overhead, and search for the wild creatures that rustle in the leaves around us in these special places. This hike is approximately 1.5 hours long, set at a leisurely pace, with stops to explore.
Brighten up your yard this winter with a bird feeder handmade by you and your child. Each family will receive a kit containing all the necessary parts to build a feeder that will attract chickadees, titmice, nuthatches, cardinals, and many other birds to your yard. Mass Audubon's Scott Santino from Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary will explain winter birds and then lead a workshop to build bird feeders.
Stretching high overhead at this time of the year once the sun has fully set and darkness has settled in, from vantage points far removed from light-polluted city skies, is the starry river we call the Milky Way. In the indoor portion of this evening's program, we will go on a photographic tour of the celestial jewels strewn within its starry fields that are best viewed through a telescope. Such so-called deep sky objects include star clusters, stellar nurseries, supernova remnants, and more. Presented by physicist Gary Meehan
Join the Joppa Flats STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) Team, where you will work together with other creative and curious students for a weekly engineering challenge! We'll study how scientists and engineers have designed prosthetic legs for elephants, prosthetic beaks for eagles, and the prosthetic tail for "Winter" the Dolphin from Dolphin Tales. In collaboration with other creative and curious students, we'll work on problem-solving skills, increase your awareness of design elements in nature, and unleash your inner scientist!
Mid-October is an excellent time to take in the spectacular and stunning colors provided by the Ipswich River. The riverside silver maples will be showing off their yellow-gold, while the cattails and other marsh grasses will provide beautiful greens and browns, all set against the winding blues and blacks of the river. Have your family join us for a few hours as we explore this pristine habitat via a gentle paddle in canoes. With a little luck we might encounter a beaver, otter, or muskrat as well!
At sundown this Halloween weekend, Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary will be transformed into a magical forest with creatures that can talk! Take a guided walk along our Halloween trail, home to some interesting creatures that come out just for Halloween. Learn firsthand about the creatures of the night and some history and myths that surround this spooky holiday.