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. A short slide presentation will highlight the birds that commonly come to feeders. We'll also observe the sanctuary feeders to see which birds are looking for food. Instructors will circulate to provide assistance.
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
Join Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary in the old tradition of fireside storytelling to pass the time through the cold and dark days of winter. We will start inside around the warm crackle of the fireplace with a seasonal story, and then head outside to collect materials to make a nature bookmark.
Come be a winter wildlife detective and learn the tracks and signs of local animals. During the introduction you will make your own wildlife tracks ID guide and get to look at and touch real wildlife clues. Then we will head out on the trails to follow tracks and signs left by wildlife such as deer, rabbits, coyotes, beavers, and more.
Come celebrate the longest night and shortest day of the year with Joppa Flats! Miss Mary and Miss Susan offer stories, songs, crafts made of evergreens, and thematic snacks for everyone to enjoy. Learn why we have seasons, and why different cultures around the world created legends and rituals to mark the longest night of the year. Join us for a festival of light to beckon the sun to return!
Throughout time, people have come together to celebrate the shortest day of the year and welcome the lengthening days ahead. Sanctuary staff and volunteers invite you to join us for this beautiful candlelit event. Lantern making begins at 4:00 pm, followed by some solstice stories and folklore. With lanterns in hand, we will stroll the trails to light up the night. We will serve hot cider and cocoa at the bonfire on our return.
The Geminid meteor shower is one of the most prolific of the annual meteor showers, rivaling in strength the better-known Perseid meteor shower of mid-August. This year, the Geminids reach maximum activity on the night of December 13, when as many as 120 shooting stars might be seen each hour under clear skies far removed from city lights and completely free of light pollution. We'll meet several days ahead of the peak activity to discuss the general nature of meteor showers, their origins, and the best ways to observe them. Weather permitting, we'll step outside afterward in an attempt to catch a glimpse of the Geminid shower in its early stages. There will also be viewing of the night sky through a large reflector telescope.
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'll give you coloring pages to take home, and you'll receive song lyrics, vocabulary, a fun-fact sheet, and a suggested reading list in an email after each class.
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.
Squirrels are among the most engaging animals of the forest, dashing across logs and leaping from tree to tree. Except for the flying squirrel, they are active during the day, and one of the few wild animals you can actually observe up close. We’ll play some squirrely games and then take a walk to look for these charming bushy-tailed mammals. Bring binoculars if you have them.
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.