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.
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.
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.
Let's head outdoors to our spectacular local habitats to see what's new! We love to find things; think about colors, shapes, and patterns; and wonder why this place is a special home to wildlife. You and your preschooler will both enjoy this fun, energetic format for exploring nature.
This four-session series introduces toddlers, accompanied by a favorite adult, to the natural delights of late autumn as mammals, birds, and even plants prepare for the coming winter. We'll go out for a hike to look and listen for signs of the season. This program is also offered on Tuesdays or Fridays.
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.
U. S. National Park Rangers host free tours at the Saugus Iron Works. Learn about the production of iron on this site in the mid-1600s, an endeavor that was integral to the growth of the early colony. Hear about the archeological dig and reconstruction of the site in the 1940s to 1950s. Upon availability, this tour may include the operation of waterwheels, the 500-pound hammer, the rolling mill, and blacksmithing demonstrations. Tour lasts about one hour and is outdoors.
Join us for a cruise in Essex Bay aboard our pontoon boat the Osprey! We’ll view the seldom seen backside of the Crane Wildlife Refuge and take a turn around Choate Island to view the open fields, wooded hillside and historic structures from the water while hearing stories and learning fun facts about the area from longtime steward, Donny Paquin. This event requires pre-registration online or at the Castle Hill front desk.