Get outside with your family for some fresh air and to experience the beauty of the sanctuary. A Mindful Nature Experience incorporates elements of mindfulness, forest bathing, ayurveda, and yoga to connect mind and body in community with the outdoors, reinvigorate your senses, and deeply immerse you in the healing power of nature. As a family, awaken your bodies with easy, flowing exercises, and use mindful breathing techniques to connect with and offer gratitude for the natural world. Walk with awareness to immerse deeply in nature, explore your senses using various sensory techniques that awaken curiosity, and find your own personal sit spot to meditate as one with nature.
Bring your troop and the whole family to meet our maple trees, tour the sugarhouse, try a taste of our sweet syrup, and participate in winter games and activities. Try your hand at using real sugaring tools at the tree-tapping station, warm up and toast marshmallows by the campfire, and participate in a snow creature building contest where the winner gets a free bottle of syrup! Our dress-like-a-lumberjack photo booth can capture your sweet memories and each scout will go home with a special maple sugaring jamboree badge.
Come see live birds of prey up close in this presentation that will introduce you to the different types of raptors including eagles, hawks, falcons, and owls. We'll discuss the special features these birds have that enable them to be successful predators at the top of the food chain. Note: this programs fills up quickly so register soon!
There's a lot going on in the natural world in winter, so bundle up the family and join us for an outdoor exploration! This walk will begin with a short introduction indoors, and then we'll go outside to explore. What birds visit your house in winter? We'll walk the trails looking, listening, and calling for birds. After our hike, we'll return to the Nature Center to warm up and view birds from our observation window.
The folks at Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary have created an owling expedition just for kids aged 3-6! Winter is the perfect time of year to go out in search of owls. We'll learn about these fascinating birds through a story and hands-on activities before we head out on our adventure to look for them. Afterwards, we'll warm up by the woodstove with a cup of hot chocolate and cookies.
In this outdoor survival skills program, older children will learn the basics of the ancient outdoor skill of shelter building. We will look at real examples of animal homes for inspiration, learn some different shelter types and their pros and cons, discuss shelter safety, and make our own full-size shelters on the sanctuary. If there is snow we will make cozy quinzhee huts and if there is no snow we will make leafy lean-to huts. No experience necessary--just a desire to survive and thrive in the wild!
Drop in at Joppa Flats for an up-close winter wildlife experience! On select weekend and school vacation days, Joppa Flats volunteer Deb La Roy presents demonstrations on bird research and banding. After capturing wild birds in the Joppa backyard, Deb brings them inside to measure, weigh, examine, and then release them. The unique band that Deb places carefully on each bird’s leg connects other bird researchers with the data she’s collected. You’ll learn about your own backyard birds and why they’re here while watching scientific research in action.
First Day Hikes take place at nearby State Parks nationwide on New Year's Day. The annual hike originated more than 20 years ago at the Blue Hills Reservation in Massachusetts. The program was launched to promote both healthy lifestyles throughout the year and year-round recreation at state parks. On the North Shore, there will be First Day hikes at Bradley Palmer State Park and Breakheart Reservation.
Throughout time, people have come together to celebrate the shortest day of the year and welcome the lengthening days ahead. Sanctuary staff and volunteers invite you to join us for this beautiful candlelit event.
Lantern making begins at 4:00 pm, followed by some solstice stories and folklore. With lanterns in hand, we will stroll the trails to light up the night. We will serve hot cider and cocoa at the bonfire on our return.
Join us as we welcome educators from the Wildlife Encounters Ecology Center & Farm School! Here you will experience a show featuring a diverse selection of seven amazing small and medium sized Ambassador Animals! You will likely meet animals you’ve never encountered in your life! Two animals from the Wildlife Collection and 5 animals from the Interactive Collection will be brought to you by one of the most in-demand and dynamic processional Wildlife Educators in the Northeast!
Saturday, January 25
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