Natural History

Wild About Reptiles & Amphibians

Saturday morning science - Come learn about reptiles and amphibians at the Joppa Flats Center! Photo by Bill O'Connor

Saturday Morning Science at Joppa | Joppa Flats Education Center invites kids 7-11 for a series of fun-filled science programs with others who are interested in science and wildlife.  Participants will  get in touch with their "inner scientist"! Twice a month we'll offer a chance to meet live creatures, design something "green", or explore a new field in science.  This particular program will focus on amphibians and reptiles.

When: 
Saturday, September 8, 2018 10-11:30am

Imagine, Sing, & Learn: Dragonflies and Hummingbirds

Come learn about dragonflies and hummingbirds at the Joppa Flats Center!

Joppa Flats Education Center invites kids 3-6 for a fun-filled morning program that is perfect for you and your active preschooler! Our structured activities include hands-on science, music and movement, a thematic snack, and an outdoor adventure if the weather complies. Keep learning with coloring pages and follow-up activities to continue the fun at home.  This particular program will focus on the dragonflies and hummingbirds.

When: 
Friday, August 10, 2018 9:30-11am

Imagine, Sing, & Learn: The Arctic

Come learn about the animals of the polar habitats at the Joppa Flats Center! Photo: Kathy Crane, NOAA Arctic Research Program

Joppa Flats Education Center invites kids 3-6 for a fun-filled morning program that is perfect for you and your active preschooler! Our structured activities include hands-on science, music and movement, a thematic snack, and an outdoor adventure if the weather complies. Keep learning with coloring pages and follow-up activities to continue the fun at home.  This particular program will focus on the Arctic and Antarctic habitats.

When: 
Friday, August 10, 2018 9:30-11am

Exploring Science Together: Bugs!

Kids and families are invited to learn about bugs at the Harvard Museum of Natural History.

Take a closer look and explore the world of minuscule bugs! Learn together through hands-on activities designed to show you how to classify and identify these numerous and diverse creatures! Participate in activities in our incredible arthropods gallery. Observe and touch live invertebrates, and then go outside and collect some of your own. Dig in the dirt and learn how invertebrates help people compost food waste into soil. Create your own scientific equipment that will help you continue the study of entomology at home. All activities are designed to be fun and interactive experiences for elementary age students and their families to participate in together.

When: 
Saturday, July 7, 2018 10:30-Noon

Reptiles and Amphibians

Essex County Greenbelt Association hosts a reptile and amphibians at Arthur Elwell Reservation in Rowley Massachusetts

Wetlands are a hotbed of activity in mid-June and this program will focus specifically on the amphibians and reptiles that make ponds and streams their home. Join the Essex County Greenbelt Association to look for nesting turtles, tadpoles, and snakes that may be patrolling the shoreline. Families will learn the key differences between reptiles and amphibians, and hopefully will begin to be able to identify specific species.

When: 
Saturday, June 16, 2018 10am - 1 pm

Late Night Moth Hunt at Coolidge Stevens Estate

Come learn about moths at the Trustees of Reservations' Stevens-Coolidge Estate in North Andover

Have you ever wondered about the moths attracted to your porch light? What are they called, what do they eat, why are they attracted to light and where do they go when the summer ends? Join independent researcher Deb Lievens for an illustrated talk about moths inside The Stevens-Coolidge historic house, followed by moth viewing in the gardens at night. Several "viewing stations" with black lights will be setup prior to the talk so that upon its conclusion, we'll have plenty of specimens to view under expert supervision.

When: 
Sunday, July 7, 2018 8:30-10:30pm

Toad Trek at the Crane Wildlife Refuge

Join the Trustees of Reservations at  the Crane Wildlife Refuge in Ipswich Massachusetts in search of the American Toad!

Join The Trustees of Reservations at Crane Wildlife Refuge on the Crane Estate in search of the American Toad in Ipswich, Massachusetts! Ever wonder what that screeching sound is on damp spring evenings? The cacophonous chorus of toads and Spring Peepers means winter is finally coming to an end. In the early evening darkness we’ll quietly make our way through the dunes to the bogs and puddles that serve as breeding pools for the American Toad, and hope to catch a glimpse of them (and other species too!) as they call to find a mate. These are the toads you most often see around your yard – but there’s a lot to learn about them! Come with us as we get up close and personal with these awesome amphibians!

When: 
Wednesday, April 18, 2018 7:30-9pm

Exploring Science Together: Minerals!

Kids and families are invited to learn about minerals at the Harvard Museum of Natural History.

What makes a mineral a mineral? Find out in this hands-on and interactive program. Be a geologist for the day and learn how to identify minerals. Discover the secret properties that make some minerals truly unique. Participate in gallery explorations of our mesmerizing mineral collections. Investigate the different uses of minerals and even create your own mineral pigment artwork to take home! All activities are designed to be a fun and interactive experience for elementary age students and their families to participate in together.

When: 
Saturday, March 3, 2018 10:30-Noon

Autumn Art Explorations: Nature Mobile

Kids will learn about nature through story, a hike and art at Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary.

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. 

When: 
Sunday, November 5, 2017 1-3:30pm

Become a Citizen Scientist

Learn about water and science at Saugus Iron Works as part of Trails and Sails!

U. S. National Park Rangers host an event at Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site for Trails and Sails! Join the staff as we compare and contrast the differences of two water sources within the park, the Saugus River and the Saugus estuary. Take part in hands on water testing of two bodies of water less than 200 yards apart. Explore the “checkup” of the water by participating in a few simple tests to determine how healthy the waters are. Part of Trails & Sails 2018.

When: 
Sunday, Septmeber 17, 2017 11am-2pm

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February Vacation Workshops at Art Haven

February Vacation Workshops for kids at Cape Ann Art Haven in Gloucester Massachusetts
Cape ann Art Haven has a great selection of art focused morning workshops during February Vacation in addition to their regular classes and open studio in the afternoons.  Kids can take part in morning sessions, afternoon sessions or stay for a full day!

MarketStreet Lynnfield Outdoor Ice Skating and Warming Tent

Outdoor Ice Skating and Warming Tent at MarketStreet Lynnfield
MarketStreet Lynnfield is pleased to announce the return of one of the North Shore’s most beloved winter traditions, The MarketStreet Rink sponsored by Lahey Health.  This special seasonal destination kicks off its sixth year. This year, the MarketStreet Rink will newly feature a Warming Tent,...

Feb Fest at MIT Museum

Kids will have a blast at the MIT Museum during February Vacation Feb Fest!
Join MIT Museum for Feb Fest, an annual celebration during February school vacation week, with daily hands-on activities, workshops, and more. Come for a fun filled week of science, hands-on activities, museum tours and focused workshops!
Where: MIT Museum

Vacation Day Camp at Waldorf School at Moraine Farm - Beverly

Waldorf School at Moraine Farm in Beverly Massachusetts
Join us for winter fun and exploration at Waldorf Vacation Camp. Children will use their detective skills to complete winter scavenger hunts, go sledding and play games in the snow, cook warm snacks around the campfire, and get creative! This vacation program will be offered Tuesday through...
8:00 am to 3:00 pm

Adventure Days: Winter Homes

Build igloos and learn how to find winter homes for animals at IRWS's workshop
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...
8:30 am to 3:00 pm

StoryWalk: The Snow Globe Family

Join the fun at the Trustees of Reservations' Stevens Coolidge Estate to explore their storywalk trail!
Looking for a way to get outside with the kiddos this February Vacation? Stop by The Stevens-Coolidge Place to follow our StoryWalk trail through the property! Our grounds are free and open to the public everyday. Simply enter the grounds, head left towards the beginning of the StoryWalk by the...
9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Farmer for a Day: Kids in the Kitchen

Appleton Farm's Kids in the Kitchen  program is geared to children aged 6-9
In the winter, many people hunker down to stay warm, but at Appleton Farms, we make the most of the cold, quiet season. There is no better place to spend winter farm days than in the kitchen! These programs are for kids who love to cook, explore, and be adventurous in the kitchen, and out on the...
9:00 am to 12:00 pm

Dog Friendly Shops at MarketStreet Lynnfield

Dog Friendly Shops and Restaurants at MarketStreet Lynnfield
Animal lovers will be glad to learn MarketStreet Lynnfield has over 40 shops and restaurants that are dog-friendly. Use #PupsOfMarketStreet on social media when you are there with your four-legged friend to get a free treat at PolkaDog Bakery. Enjoy!
10:00 am to 9:00 pm

PEM Explores Innovations Inspired by Nature - Salem

Peabody Essex Museum Wild Designs Exhibit
This summer discover how creative innovators are turning to nature for new ideas and smart solutions to human challenges.  Wild Designs, on exhibit at Peabody Essex Museum, features works by artists and other creatives who are looking to nature and living systems for new ideas and creative...
10:00 am to 5:00 pm

PEM February School Vacation Week

Interconnected: School Vacation Week at Peabody Essex Museum in Salem Massachusetts
Peabody Essex Museum invites kids and families for days of fun and engaging events and activities during February vacation week!  Come to the Museum Come join us for a week of exploration into our relationship with nature and discover new ways to become a steward of the earth.  There will be drop...
10:00 am to 4:00 pm

Glow Zone at NPL

Newburyport Public Library hosts a glow stick party for kids of all ages!
We’re cracking a ton of glow sticks for play time with a side of learning. Join us in our darkened program room where kids can use glow sticks to imitate designs or create something entirely new. Super simple, no mess, fun! Drop in for kids of all ages.
10:00 am to 11:30 am

LEGOpalooza

Drop in at LEGOpalooza at Wenham Museum in Wenham Massachusetts
LEGO® Fans bring your creative genius to this day of fun! Let your imagination loose on our huge collection of LEGO blocks.  Build a tiny car to race or a flying saucer for outer space. Legos are a lot of fun; bring your kids to this brick-fest of fun! Come early and tour the galleries featuring a...
10:00 am to 4:00 pm

Cat's Meow at the Crane Estate

Kids will have a blast exploring the Trustees of Reservations Crane Estate in Ipswich Massachusetts!
Mrs. Crane’s cat has gone missing and there’s a party tonight! Only you can help the household staff find the cat AND get ready for the party at the same time!
11:00 am to 11:45 am

Snowy Owl Prowl

Join the Trustees of Reservations at  the Crane Wildlife Refuge in Ipswich Massachusetts in search of the Snowy Owl!
Join The Trustees of Reservations at Crane Wildlife Refuge on the Crane Estate in search of the Snowy Owl! Wide-open coastal sites are the location of choice for wintering Snowy Owls; common perches are dunes and salt hay staddles. In winters past, the owls have been frequent visitors to the Crane...
1:00 pm to 3:30 pm

February Vacation Once Upon a Contest

Come explore the Cape Ann Museum with your family during February Vacation. Gloucester, Massachusetts!
Join celebrated Cape Ann Reads writers and illustrators for hands-on experiences. Offered in conjunction with the special exhibition Once Upon a Contest: Selections from Cape Ann Reads.
1:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Families in the Farm Kitchen: Cheese Making

Families will learn to make farm fresh cheeses at Appleton Farms in Ipswich, MA
Cooking together and having fun in the kitchen makes our farm family happy and we want to share that enthusiasm for cooking with you. With the help of our cheesemaker we will make a batch of fresh farm cheese while we learn about how our cows turn green grass to creamy, nutritious milk. Afterwords...
1:30 pm to 2:30 pm

AJH: Mother & Baby Newborns: 0-3 Months

Mother and Baby, Newborn Support Groups aAnna Jaques Hospital
MOTHER & BABY GROUPS Anna Jaques is pleased to offer free group classes for all mothers in our community to provide support, encouragement and advice on parenthood and questions that arise after going home. Formerly named Lactation Support Groups, the Mother & Baby Group is facilitated by a...
2:00 pm to 3:30 pm

Stargazing at Mendel Observatory

Come to Mendel Observatory for stargazing sessions every Wednesday night.
The Observatory, with the support of volunteers from the North Shore Amateur Astronomy Club, hosts public stargazing every Wednesday night (weather permitting) starting at dusk or 7 p.m., whichever is later.  When special astronomical events of interest occur (total lunar eclipses, etc.) the Obse
7:00 pm

Thursday, February 21

PEM Explores Innovations Inspired by Nature - Salem

Peabody Essex Museum Wild Designs Exhibit
This summer discover how creative innovators are turning to nature for new ideas and smart solutions to human challenges.  Wild Designs, on exhibit at Peabody Essex Museum, features works by artists and other creatives who are looking to nature and living systems for new ideas and creative...
10:00 am to 5:00 pm

Pasta Making for Kids with Chef Swansan

Pasta making workshop for kids at the Sally Webster Inn in Rockport Massachusetts
Just in time for February school vacation week, for ages 10 and older! There is nothing quite like the satisfaction of making fresh pasta with your own hands. In this hands-on class with Chef Sawsan, kids will learn the art of making three pastas, completely from scratch. For Ages 10 and older.
10:00 am to 1:00 pm

Sugaring Adventures for Kids

Visit Appleton Farms' sugaring operation and learn about making maple sugar syrup!
Join us for an adventure in maple sugaring! Spend an afternoon in the sugar shack and along the trails learning about the great maples of Appleton, while helping us prepare for the sweetest season at the farm! Each day will be a new adventure. For children registered for the morning vacation...
10:00 am to 3:00 pm

Mary Poppins at Sawyer Free Library

Actress Carole Finn brings the enchanting story of Mary Poppins to life for kids at Sawyer Free Library in Gloucester Massachusetts
Come to Sawyer Free for a morning visit from Mary Poppins! Actress Carole Finn brings the enchanting story of Mary Poppins to life as she interacts with the children in character, and tells us all about Jane and Michalel's adventures with their magical nanny!
10:00 am to 11:00 am

AJH: Mother & Baby Support Classes: Haverhill

Mother & Baby Support Groups at Anna Jaques Hospital in Newburyport MA
Mother & Baby Groups Anna Jaques is pleased to offer free group classes for all mothers in our community to provide support, encouragement and advice on parenthood and questions that arise after going home. Formerly named Lactation Support Groups, the Mother & Baby Group is facilitated by a...
10:30 am to 12:00 pm

February Vacation Once Upon a Contest

Come explore the Cape Ann Museum with your family during February Vacation. Gloucester, Massachusetts!
Join celebrated Cape Ann Reads writers and illustrators for hands-on experiences. Offered in conjunction with the special exhibition Once Upon a Contest: Selections from Cape Ann Reads.
1:00 pm to 4:00 pm

LEGO Club at Danvers Library

LEGO club at Danvers Library
Peabody Institute Library - Danvers invites kids to an afternoon of building and fun! Activities will include free build, themes and instructional design. All structures will remain on display in the Children’s Room till the following weeks's session
3:30 pm

Aquatics Open House

Ipswich YMCA hosts an open house showcasing their aquatics facility and programs
Ipswich YMCA invites families to their aquatics open house where they can enjoy the pool, tour the aquatics facility, learn about the aquatic programs, and meet the instructors!
4:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Friday, February 22

Feb Fest at MIT Museum

Kids will have a blast at the MIT Museum during February Vacation Feb Fest!
Join MIT Museum for Feb Fest, an annual celebration during February school vacation week, with daily hands-on activities, workshops, and more. Come for a fun filled week of science, hands-on activities, museum tours and focused workshops!
Where: MIT Museum

MarketStreet Lynnfield Outdoor Ice Skating and Warming Tent

Outdoor Ice Skating and Warming Tent at MarketStreet Lynnfield
MarketStreet Lynnfield is pleased to announce the return of one of the North Shore’s most beloved winter traditions, The MarketStreet Rink sponsored by Lahey Health.  This special seasonal destination kicks off its sixth year. This year, the MarketStreet Rink will newly feature a Warming Tent,...
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