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.
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
Spring celebrations begin early at the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary with the age-old tradition of maple sugaring. The warm days of late winter awaken the flow of sap in the maples, causing buds to swell and resulting in sweet-smelling billowing clouds of steam rising from the sugarhouse.
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!
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.
Have you ever walked through the woods looking for owls during the day? Owls are most active at night, of course, but if you know what to look for you can find their daytime roosts. Together we'll discover what our local owls look like, what they eat, and what they sound like. As a special activity, everyone will help to dissect an owl pellet.
Winter is a great time to look for predators and the evidence they leave behind. Today, we'll look at animal bones, fur, scat, tracks, and chews. Then we'll hike the sanctuary in search of hawks, foxes, fishers, river otters, and more. We'll investigate how these animals are able to hunt prey in the cold winter weather.
Can you imagine living outside through the entire winter? We'll explore the woodlands, wetlands, and field edges for nests, cavities, burrows, dens, and lodges to discover how birds, mammals, and insects find homes in this challenging season. We'll build an igloo or shelter and see how warm it can be inside.
Today we'll learn about one of nature's tastiest treats: maple syrup. We'll discover how to distinguish a sugar maple from all the other trees in the forest and tap one to collect the sap. After a visit to the sugarhouse, we'll know how sap is converted into syrup and try some on our very own pancakes. We'll see who can tell the difference between store-bought syrup and the real stuff!
Come to Newburyport to celebrate the return of migrating eagles back to the Merrimack River Estuary! The Mass Audubon's Joppa Flats Education Center and the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge have teamed up to bring an entire day of free events centered around the wonders of the Bald Eagles that have come to take seasonal advantage of the Merrimack River habitat.
With the lush green fringe of plants and lily pads gone, the winter pond looks deserted. Where did all the turtles, frogs, and insects go? Come learn about the amazing adaptations these animals have developed to survive winter and some cool things about ice. We will stroll along the boardwalks at Waterfowl Pond to see who is around in the winter and who has gone into hibernation. On our return, we'll enjoy a delicious cup of hot chocolate.