It's time for backyard birds to head south for the winter. Joppa Flats Education Center want to 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 including bird-call recall, bird identification, shorebird feeding challenges, and a mystery bird nest challenge!
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
Did you know that the wild turkey was Ben Franklin’s nominee for our national bird? Once driven nearly to extinction in much of the United States, the wild turkey has returned. Come learn about this large bird that represents our first American holiday, Thanksgiving. We’ll make a turkey craft and take a walk to catch, with luck, a glimpse of this elusive bird.
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. This session is a coastal forest stroll with a discovery session in the marsh.
Join Artist and Art Teacher Mary Ann McCurdle for one or more of these new family art classes this fall. Each class will begin with a short story, followed by a nature walk, and finish up with a related art project as we celebrate the beauty of the season.
Find out why Native Americans call the November full moon the Beaver Moon. The smell of wood smoke combined with the crunch of leaves underfoot reminds us that winter is just around the corner. Spend an evening walking around the sanctuary under a full moon, searching barren tree tops for the silhouettes of owls, fishers, and raccoons while stopping in our wetlands to observe beavers making their final winter preparations. What a perfect way to spend a quiet evening with your family before the rush of the holidays begins.
Join Kirsten Lindquist on a nocturnal hike through Rough Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary in Rowley as "All Hallow's Eve" approaches on this kids-only adventure! We'll peek at the stars, learn about nocturnal animal adaptations, and see what kind of wildlife we can uncover. We'll cap off the evening with s'mores roasted over the firepit at Joppa Flats Education Center.
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.
Join naturalists from Joppa Flats Education Center on the deck in the salt marsh at Rowley's Rough Meadows for a sing-a-long of sea shanties and maritime poetry, and learn how music was used to entertain, focus on work, and tell stories of nautical life. Bring your blanket and dinner and plan to stay for a picnic under the rising full moon. Instruments and shanty singers are welcome.
Learn about spiders at Ipsiwch River Wildlife Sanctuary in Topsfield during this spooky time of year! All spiders spin silk, but not all make webs to catch their prey. How does a spider spin a web and not get caught in it? Come and find out the other ways these fascinating little animals use their magic threads.
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.