Winter is an exciting time for outdoor discovery. The Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary has put together four days of hands-on, interactive, age-appropriate activities to explore the natural world in Winter. Kids will hone their observation skills as they locate and learn about winter animals and tap a sugar maple tree to make syrup.
Topsfield, Massachusetts 01983
The Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary wraps up the maple sugaring season this year with our the annual Flapjack Fling. Bring your family and friends for this special breakfast at the sanctuary and enjoy the fruit (OK, sap!) of our labor and our maple trees on some delicious pancakes.
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.
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!
The folks at Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary have created an owling expedition just for kids aged 3-6! In the barn, kids will learn about owls and how they live through hands on activities. Then we'll head outside into the fading light of the sanctuary and practice our owl calls - hopefully prompting a response. After the adventure is over, we'll meet back in the barn for a cup of hot chocolate and cookies!
The red fox is a clever and attractive mammal that is active during winter, stalking rabbits, mice, meadow voles, and birds. We will read Fox's Dream by Keizabur Tejima. Then we will wander along the trails to look for tracks or signs left by foxes and other mammals. Perhaps we will be lucky enough to track the red fox back to its den.
What birds come to your yard in the winter? We will walk the trails looking, listening, and calling for birds. Then we will warm up back in the Nature Center and make a bird feeder to take home.
Is spring on the way, or are we faced with another six weeks of winter? According to legend, Punxsutawney Phil foretells the impending weather each year. If he sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter. If not, spring is near! Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary celebrates this ritual with a fun afternoon of activities for kids and families!
Groundhog Day is just a few days away, and we have planned a special walk. We will learn all about these true hibernators, and then we will head out to the fields in search of groundhog holes. Learn some songs and create a groundhog mask to take home.