Topsfield

Turtle Time at IRWS

Kids will explore IRWS wetland in search of painted and snapping turtles.

As late spring transitions to early summer, one thing is for sure: it's turtle time! Join us to explore our wetlands in search of these fascinating reptiles. We'll visit areas where turtles like to nest and bask in the sun, look at and touch real turtle shells, and, with a little luck, get an up-close look at a painted turtle. We'll conclude with a trip to the Rockery to see if we can summon our resident snapping turtle, Godzilla.

When: 
Saturday, June 12, 2021 10-11:30am

Beaver Tales IRWS

Kids will learn about beavers at Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary. Photo: American Beaver ©Scott Santino

After reading a story about beavers, walk to Rockery Pond to see a real beaver lodge and dam, and look for signs of beavers such as chews and scent mounds. Find out why beaver teeth are orange and what they use their broad tails for. We may even try our luck at making our own beaver dam or lodge.

When: 
Saturday, May 15, 2020 from 10:30-11:30 pm

Tracking Winter Wildlife

Kids will learn about tracks and signs at Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary in Topsfield during the Holiday Vacation Week!

Ever wonder about those tracks in the snow in your backyard? Winter is a wonderful time of year to explore and learn about the many natural signs that can be used to track wildlife. Learn how to identify the different tracks and signs of the animals of winter animals as we walk the trails and explore different habitats.

When: 
Wednesday, December 30, 2020 1:30-3:30pm

Parent/Child Build a Birdfeeder

Build a Birdfeeder with your child that attracts birds to your yard this winter.

Brighten up your yard this winter with a bird feeder handmade by you and your child. Each family will receive a kit containing all the necessary parts and step-by-step instructions to build a feeder that will attract chickadees, nuthatches, cardinals, and many other birds to your yard. A short presentation will highlight the birds that commonly come to feeders, and we will also observe birds in the sanctuary's bird garden.

When: 
Thursday, December 31, 2020 1:30-3:30pm

December Vacation Youth Outdoor Survival Days

Kids and Tweens will learn outdoors survival skills at Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary!

This new three-day drop-off program is for youths who want to learn what it takes to survive in the wild. Each day will have a different theme around an outdoor skill. We will explore the sanctuary, look to our local wildlife for inspiration, and complete an outdoor skill challenge each day. Our last day will end with a carefully made campfire and toasted marshmallows!

When: 
Daily, December 29-31, 2020 10am-Noon

Little Woods Walk: Forest Walk for Families

Join Mass Audubon naturalists on a hike at Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary in Topsfield!

Join a Mass Audubon teacher on a child-friendly walk to learn about the people and wildlife who call these forests home. Fall is a wonderful time to enjoy a hike with family and give thanks for the resources and beauty that nature provides for wild animals and people, too. The hike is set at a leisurely pace with stops to explore for birds, mammals, insects, and other interesting creature we'll see along the way.

When: 
Saturday, October 31, 2020 10am-11:30am
Saturday, October 31, 2020 1-2:30pm

Hunter's Moon: Night Hike for Families at IRWS

Walk through the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary lit only by the full moon

The sparkle of the Hunter's Moon will guide our way as we walk the trails of the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary. Led by a sanctuary naturalist, we'll explore fields, forests, and wetlands looking and listening for beavers slapping their tails on the river's surface, Barred Owls hooting, White-tailed Deer grazing, and Eastern Coyotes howling. Learn about the fascinating adaptations of these animals as they prepare for winter and hear some Hunter's Moon lore on this fun, fall, after-dark adventure.

When: 
Friday October 30, 2020 7-8:30pm

Annual ECTA Equine Exposition

Essex County Trail Association is hosting the annual Equine EXPO at Topsfield Fairgrounds

ESSEX COUNTY TRAIL ASSOCIATION is hosting the 24th annual EQUINE EXPO to be held on Saturday, August 29, 2020 from 9-3 in the Arena Building at the Topsfield Fairgrounds on Route 1, Topsfield, MA.  This popular event draws over 800 people each year.  Individuals, groups & businesses make up over 80 booths offering goods and services, new and used, for the horse and rider/driver. To outfit everyone for the show and trail season, find  a massage therapist, trainer, saddle fitter or a new saddle, upgrade all your tack and equipment, build a barn, purchase supplements, books, herbal products, home décor or gifts this is the place to be. 

When: 
Saturday, August 29, 2020 9am-3pm

Sense of Wonder Walk: Who's Awakening? Who's Returning?

Come to IRWS to find out how wildlife recover from Winter and migrate!

Celebrate the arrival of spring with a hike to Waterfowl Pond. Along the way, we'll look for ducks and red-winged blackbirds in the wetlands, listen for the call of the phoebe, and search for signs that the animals that slept away the winter are emerging and those that went south are returning.

When: 
Sunday, March 29, 2020 1:30-3pm

Observing Artificial Satellites

Come learn how to spot satellites at the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary. Photo: NASA

The program will begin with an indoor presentation that will provide you with the information needed to be able to find and observe artificial satellites like the International Space Station and other human-made orbiting objects. Topics to be covered will include the nature of artificial satellite orbits, the best time of year for observing them, and how to identify them in the night sky. Weather permitting, we'll step outside afterwards to seek out artificial satellites and gaze into the night sky through the telescopes of local amateur astronomers. Along with the early springtime constellations, a young crescent moon and the planet Venus will be visible.

When: 
Friday, March 28, 2020 7-9pm

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Harborlight Montessori School - Infant to Grade 8 - Beverly MA

Manchester 375th Scavenger Hunt

The Manchester Essex Conservation Trust Scavenger is a healthy challenge for the entire family!
—During the month of September explore conservation lands, learn a bit about Manchester’s history, and have some fun! Accept the challenge to visit multiple locations at surrounding conservation areas, learn some history and celebrate the 375th Anniversary of the founding of Manchester by the Sea!...
7:00 am to 7:00 pm

Sculpture at Maudslay

Artists will install their sculptures at Maudslay State Park in Newburyport for public viewing!
Enjoy a self-guided walking tour of the 22nd Annual Outdoor Sculpture at Maudslay Exhibit September 12 through October 2 featuring 50 site specific sculptures by local artists addressing this year’s theme, ‘Reach’ within the magnificence of Maudslay State Park in Newburyport. Look for the large...
7:00 am to 6:00 pm

Corn MAiZE and Haunted Attractions at Connors Farm - Danvers

Corn MAiZE, Maze and Haunted Attractions at Connors Farm - Danvers, Massachusetts
Come to Connors Farm to find your way through this year's maze, "The Music Maze"! Enjoy many family fun activities! After completing the maze, stay and have some fun around the farm. Children enjoy apple and pumpkin picking, hayrides, and most of all, visiting the barnyard animals.
9:00 am to 5:59 pm

Self-guided Tours at Hammond Castle Museum

Take a self-guided tour of Hammond Castle in Gloucester as part of Trails and Sails!
Hammond Castle Museum was built in the 1920s by inventor John Hays Hammond, Jr. as a home for his extensive collection of medieval artifacts and his research laboratory. The first 30 walk-in guests on Wednesday, September 22 will receive free admission for a self-guided tour of the Museum and the...
9:30 am to 4:00 pm

Trails and Sails: Historic Grounds Tour

Come to the House of Seven Gables for a Trails & Sails event that focuses on the
House of Seven Gables hosts a Trails & Sails 2021 tour that focuses on the gardens and grounds! Join us for our newly developed historic grounds tour – one of a series of specialized tours currently in the works at The House of the Seven Gables. Take a stroll through the lesser-known history...
10:00 am to 11:00 pm

Pre School Story Hour at Essex Library

Pre School Story Hour on the lawn with Miss April at TOHP Burnham Library in Essex MA.
The TOHP Burnham Public Library in Essex invites kids, ages 3-5, to join April on the lawn for stories, songs, fingerplays and a take-home craft (while supplies last).
10:00 am to 10:30 am

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

AJH: Mother & Baby Newborns: 0-6 Weeks

Mother and Baby, Newborn Support Groups aAnna Jaques Hospital
MOTHER & BABY GROUPS Anna Jaques Hospital 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. This new group (for moms, grandmothers, and female caregivers only) is focused...
2:00 pm to 3:30 pm

Evening Stroll at Maudslay

Enjoy and evening stroll with the park interpreter at Maudlsay State Park in Newburyport
Join the park interpreter for a moderately paced walk to view different areas of the park and experience the changes at Maudslay over the spring, summer and fall.  Rain or shine. For ages 6 and up.  Wear walking shoes, and bug spray is recommended.
6:30 pm to 7:30 pm

Friday, September 24

Trails & Sails 2021

Explore the North Shore with over 150 Free Events in Essex National Heritage Area's Trails & Sails celebration.
Essex National Heritage Area sites will offer over 150 free family fun events from September 17-26, 2021 for the annual celebration of TRAILS & SAILS. Discover special places in your backyard and be guided through unique landscapes on land and sea, explore historic properties, and take in...
9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Crescent Farm Corn Maze

Crescent Farm corn maze in Haverhill Massachusetts
Imagine the biggest puzzle you’ve ever seen. Now imagine a day in the sunshine with your friends or family. Now add an adventure that takes teamwork and memory skills. All these things and more can be found at Crescent Farms Corn Maze. Crescent Farm Corn Maze trails cut into 9 acres of corn. Inside...
9:00 am to 9:00 pm

Marini Farm Corn Maze

The 2020 Marini Farm Corn Maze in Ipswich Massachusetts!
Come to Marini Farm for a fun journey through our corn maze! The Maze Park, corn maze, farm stand, bakery and other attractions provide a great destination for kids birthday parties, school trips, corporate team building, scout outings, and family activities. Marini Farm is located in beautiful...
10:00 am to 10:00 pm

The Story Behind the Dory

Learn about Lowell's Boat Shop on this guided Trails and Sails Tour
Visit Lowell’s Boat Shop  for a guided tour during Trails & Sails 2021! Founded in 1793, Lowell’s Boat Shop is the oldest continuously operating wooden boat shop in the United States. Now a National Historic Landmark, Lowell’s continues to build wooden boats in the traditional method, with a...
10:00 am to 2:00 pm

Saugus Iron Works Tours

Free Ranger guided tours at Saugus Iron Works as part of Trails and Sails
Join the staff at Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site for a tour of the industrial site which will include operating water wheels and discussions on the iron making process. Stay for a second presentation, a demonstration of blacksmithing techniques.
10:00 am to 4:00 pm

Historic Dogtown: A Walk Back in Time

Hike the trails of Dogtown in Gloucester with Cape Ann Museum
Dogtown is all of these things and more. But first, it is a place where proud people once lived and worked, at the center of Gloucester, for nearly 150 years – until it became “Dogtown” and died out. This tour will take you down the main roads of this early settlement, to meet some of the people,...
Where: Dogtown
10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Historic Dogtown: A Walk Back in Time

Hike the trails of Dogtown in Gloucester with Cape Ann Museum
Dogtown is all of these things and more. But first, it is a place where proud people once lived and worked, at the center of Gloucester, for nearly 150 years – until it became “Dogtown” and died out. This tour will take you down the main roads of this early settlement, to meet some of the people,...
Where: Dogtown
10:00 am to 12:00 pm

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

Kidleidoscope

Kidleidoscope at Maudslay State Park is a chance for preschoolers to explore the park, enjoy a story and make a craft!
Maudslay State Park has created this program for their youngest crowd! For the young set that loves nature, the park interpreter will lead a three-part preschool aged program that includes a Story, Craft & Walk that involves outdoor exploration. A different nature topic each week so come every...
10:30 am

Farmhouse Wood-Fired at Appleton Farms

Join the Trustees at Farmhouse Wood-Fired every Thursday through Sunday, throughout the summer and fall. Bring your lawn chairs and picnic blankets for a perfect wood-fired dining experience surrounded by the idyllic beauty of Appleton Farms. The menu will change weekly, featuring local and...
12:00 pm to 7:00 pm
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