Family Forest Festival

Join Mass Audubon to celebrate the forest with your family at the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary.

Journey back in time with Mass Audubon and the Topsfield Historical Society on a child-friendly guided hike with hands-on games and activities to learn about the people and wildlife who have called these forests home. Try your hand at building a kid-sized log cabin, see and use real historical carpentry tools, and learn the names and stories of the towering trees and woodland wildlife all around us. Late fall is a wonderful time to take a hike with friends and family and give thanks for the resources and beauty that nature provides for us all. The hike is approximately 1 hour long, set at a leisurely pace with stops to explore. Fun forest activities, snacks, hot drinks, and a roaring fire in our cozy barn are ongoing throughout the program.

Saturday, November 23, 2019 1-4pm

Youth Outdoor Survival: Fire Challenge

Youth Survival Fire Challenge at Mass Audubon's Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary

In this outdoor survival skills program, we will venture out onto the Ipswich River. Learn the In this outdoor survival skills program, older children will learn the basics of the ancient outdoor skill of fire-building. Participants will learn important safety steps, collect their own firewood, try different methods of fire-starting, and end with a roaring campfire and s'mores. No experience is necessary - just a willingness to learn and a respect for working with fire. 

Saturday, November 16, 2019 1:30-3:30pm

Beaver Moon Hike at IRWS

Families are invited to walk through the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary under the Beaver moon.

Find out why Native Americans call the November moon the Beaver Moon. Spend an evening walking in the crisp autumn air searching for fishers and racccoons and scanning the barren treetops for the silhouettes of owls. Smell the wood smoke and hear the crunch of leaves underfoot, reminding us that winter is just around the corner. We'll stop in the 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.

Friday, November 15, 2019 7-8:30pm

Giving Tree Annual Toy Fair

Toy Sale to help local children. Community Giving Tree

Community Giving Tree is proud to announce the Annual Toy Fair held at the Topsfield Fairgrounds in Coolidge Hall at the Topsfield Fairgrounds. This massive annual toy sale, is a good time to pick up gifts for the holidays as contributions will go to benefit Essex County children and families in need.

This year we ask you to bring your own bag. All proceeds support Community Giving Tree's mission to provide low income families in northeastern Massachusetts with basic necessities such as clothing, school supplies, baby equipment, and personal care items. Cash, Check, and Cards accepted.

Saturday, November 2, 2019 from 9-noon

Sense of Wonder Walk: Cool Camouflage

Hiding in plain sight is beneficial to animals in their attemps at avoiding predators.

Did you know that nature plays its own game of hide-and-seek? In order to survive, animals and insects use many disguises. They can stay very still, blend in with their surroundings, and even change color. We'll take a hike to look for these secretive creatures that hide themselves from prying eyes.

Sunday, November 3, 2019 1:30-3pm

The Great Duck Migration

Learn about ducks and their migration patters at Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary!

Come enjoy an early evening excursion at the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary in Topsfield! During the autumn months, thousands of migratory waterfowl fly directly over the sanctuary as they travel from their summer breeding grounds in the north to their winter homes in the south. Each night, hundreds of ducks drop into Bunker Meadows to rest and refuel for their journey. We will hike down to Bunker Meadows and climb the observation tower to observe the magnificent spectacle of ducks coming in to roost. Learn to identify different species, use counters to keep track of numbers, hear the sounds of ducks settling in for the night, and listen for the call of a great horned owl across the marsh. This is an evening not to be missed.

Saturday, October 19, 2019 5-7pm

ECTA Equine Gear Pre-Winter Sale

Essex County Trail Association Equine Gear Pre-winter sale

ESSEX COUNTY TRAIL ASSOCIATION is hosting an EQUINE Gear Pre-Winter Sale to be held on Friday, October 11 and Saturday, October 12, 2019 from 10-2.

Find used and new items all in very good condition.

Drop by for a day of one stop shopping.  For more information, be a sponsor or donate used or new horse related items for ECTA tables, please call Kay at 978-768-6275 e-mail

Location: Route 22, Western Avenue, Essex, MA. Next to Gaybrook Garage.

Friday, October 11, 2019 from 10-2.
Saturday, October 12, 2019 from 10-2.

Fall Colors Paddle for Families

Come see fall foliage from a different perspective on the Fall Foliage Paddle.

Mid-October is an excellent time to take in the spectacular and stunning colors provided by the Ipswich River. The riverside silver maples will be showing off their yellow-gold, while the cattails and other marsh grasses will provide beautiful greens and browns, all set against the winding blues and blacks of the river. Have your family join us for a few hours as we explore this pristine habitat via a gentle paddle in canoes. With a little luck we might encounter a beaver, otter, or muskrat as well!

Saturday, October 12, 2019 1-3pm

Community Giving Tree Twice Loved Toy Sale

Community Giving Tree's mission is to help low-income families in northeastern Massachusetts

Community Giving Tree is proud to announce the Twice Loved Toy Sale at Topsfield Fairgrounds! Calling all parents, grandparents, early childhood educators, and day care providers! Don't miss out on this wonderful opportunity to buy fabulous gently used toys at the Topsfield Fairgrounds! Get amazing deals on bikes and ride on toys, Legos, children's books, preschool toys, doll houses, and more! Early evening shopping hours available on Friday, November 1, 5-8pm: Admission donation is $15 or a pack of diapers! All proceeds support Community Giving Tree's mission to help local children.

Friday, November 1, 2019 5-8pm


Anna Jaques Hospital Beth Israel Lahey Health

Arts and Crafts for Little Ones with Colleen Apostolos

Art Classes for children with Colleen Apostolos
Certified Montessori teacher, artist and local mother, Colleen Apostolos-Marsh will guide your young artist in an exploration of color, shape, and texture. Using a variety of media, your child will be free to express their in a beautiful space while socializing and engaging in cooperative play....
10:15 am to 11:15 am
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