The Topsfield Fair is a perennial favorite for us. We're not the biggest fans of the midway, although it is always worth a walkthrough and a ride or two. We love fruits and vegetables, and are always on the lookout for the winning 'biggest pumpkin'. Another favorite is checking out the pigs and other farm animals, as well as the interesting variety of guinea pigs and rabbits.
Topsfield, Massachusetts 01983
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Enjoy the view from Moon Hill as you learn about the moon cycle and its importance to people over the centuries. The easy walk will be enjoyed by beginners and experienced hikers alike. Bring flashlights and if you have them, binoculars. For ages 5 and up.
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.
We will read by Lindsay Barrett George, take a close-up look at some beaver artifacts, and then take a walk to Rockery Pond to see a beaver lodge, dam, beaver chews, and scent mounds. Find out why beaver teeth are orange and what they use their tails for! We may even try our luck at making our own beaver lodge.
Monday, December 18
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