Essex National Heritage Area sites will offer over 150 free family fun events from September 20-29, 2019 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.
Join Essex County Ghost Project on a FREE guided ghost tour of Hilldale Cemetary - one of the Merrimack Valley's most active cemeteries as part of Trails & Sails 2019. Join us for a weekend of paranormal enlightenment! On Friday night there will be an equipment class to learn how to use some of the tools we use today. After the class, tour one of the most haunted cemeteries in New England. On Saturday night the 21st and 27th you can bring any paranormal photographs you’d like to share and discuss before the tour. After the presentation, we will take a paranormal walk around the cemetery.
Join Salem Sound Coastwatch (SSCW) aboard the Finback, owned and operated by Mahi Cruises & Charters to explore Salem Sound. Did you ever wonder what lives on the ocean bottom in our coastal area? Come check it out with an underwater camera and a Remote Operated Vehicle that you build yourself with SSCW as your guide. Participants must be comfortable on the water for almost 2 hours. Open to all ages.
Experience life on and around an authentic Viking ship. Vikings are known for their “raiding and trading” but they were also master crafters in wood, metal and fabric arts. Based around our flagship Polaris, visitors will get to see, feel, and hear the sounds of costume, metal working, and wood working. They will get to experience what it was like aboard a small Viking longship and even try their hand at rowing.
When was the last time you held a hermit crab? Have you ever set a fish trap to catch minnows? How would a great blue heron look through a telescope? Have you ever seen red-winged blackbirds mobbing a red-tailed hawk? Now is your chance for your family to learn together about the wonders in nature. Each program will focus on conservation updates, animal and plant interrelationships, changing environmental conditions, and an appreciation for the beauty and diversity of our surroundings. Each experience will leave you excited for the next one!
A meadow with grasses and wildflowers is home to many insects, from bees and butterflies to grasshoppers and crickets. Take a walk to a meadow to see how many different wildflowers you can find, and then take a closer look at insects using nets and collecting jars.
Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary invites families to join them at Endicott Wildlife Sanctuary to discover the amazing journey of the monarch butterfly to Mexico. Learn about the monarch life cycle and the challenges facing its habitat. Find out more about butterfly gardening and create a paper butterfly that will spend the winter with children who live near the monarch sanctuaries in the mountains of Michoacan, Mexico. We will then work together as citizen scientists to tag and release several monarchs to start their journey south.
See the Museum through the eyes of a child with this animated family tour of paintings, sculpture and maritime objects. Learn to think and see like an artist, a fisherman or quarry worker. Created for children ages 3–12 with their caregivers. This 30-minute tour ends in the Activity Center for art projects and play. Free for CAM members or with Museum admission. Space is limited, registration required.
Meet at Frye Pond Beach - Fish, frogs, snakes, and salamanders, let’s discover what lives in our tranquil New England ponds! Nets and buckets are provided. This activity can be wet and muddy. Recommend bringing water, insect repellent, sun screen, binoculars and camera. Appropriate for all ages.
Parker River National Wildlife Refuge invites families to join Katie Hone, The Monarch Gardener, for this fun and interesting one hour program about the monarch butterfly. The program will include a presentation about monarchs with interactive role playing and live animals AND making milkweed “seed bombs” (to take home). Meet, tag and release live monarch butterflies to the wild! This program is geared to younger children and their parents. This program will take place in the refuge visitor center classroom. NO preregistration for this program.