Family Forest Festival

Join Mass Audubon to celebrate the forest with your family at the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary.

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.

Saturday, November 23, 2019 1-4pm

Youth Outdoor Survival: Fire Challenge

Youth Survival Fire Challenge at Mass Audubon's Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary

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. 

Saturday, November 16, 2019 1:30-3:30pm

Beaver Moon Hike at IRWS

Families are invited to walk through the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary under the Beaver moon.

Find out why Native Americans call the November moon the Beaver Moon. Spend an evening walking in the crisp autumn air searching for fishers and racccoons and scanning the barren treetops for the silhouettes of owls. Smell the wood smoke and hear the crunch of leaves underfoot, reminding us that winter is just around the corner. We'll stop in the wetlands to observe beavers making their final winter preparations. What a perfect way to spend a quiet evening with your family before the rush of the holidays begins.

Friday, November 15, 2019 7-8:30pm

Giving Tree Annual Toy Fair

Toy Sale to help local children. Community Giving Tree

Community Giving Tree is proud to announce the Annual Toy Fair held at the Topsfield Fairgrounds in Coolidge Hall at the Topsfield Fairgrounds. This massive annual toy sale, is a good time to pick up gifts for the holidays as contributions will go to benefit Essex County children and families in need.

This year we ask you to bring your own bag. All proceeds support Community Giving Tree's mission to provide low income families in northeastern Massachusetts with basic necessities such as clothing, school supplies, baby equipment, and personal care items. Cash, Check, and Cards accepted.

Saturday, November 2, 2019 from 9-noon

Sense of Wonder Walk: Cool Camouflage

Hiding in plain sight is beneficial to animals in their attemps at avoiding predators.

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.

Sunday, November 3, 2019 1:30-3pm

The Great Duck Migration

Learn about ducks and their migration patters at Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary!

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.

Saturday, October 19, 2019 5-7pm

ECTA Equine Gear Pre-Winter Sale

Essex County Trail Association Equine Gear Pre-winter sale

ESSEX COUNTY TRAIL ASSOCIATION is hosting an EQUINE Gear Pre-Winter Sale to be held on Friday, October 11 and Saturday, October 12, 2019 from 10-2.

Find used and new items all in very good condition.

Drop by for a day of one stop shopping.  For more information, be a sponsor or donate used or new horse related items for ECTA tables, please call Kay at 978-768-6275 e-mail

Location: Route 22, Western Avenue, Essex, MA. Next to Gaybrook Garage.

Friday, October 11, 2019 from 10-2.
Saturday, October 12, 2019 from 10-2.

Fall Colors Paddle for Families

Come see fall foliage from a different perspective on the Fall Foliage Paddle.

Mid-October is an excellent time to take in the spectacular and stunning colors provided by the Ipswich River. The riverside silver maples will be showing off their yellow-gold, while the cattails and other marsh grasses will provide beautiful greens and browns, all set against the winding blues and blacks of the river. Have your family join us for a few hours as we explore this pristine habitat via a gentle paddle in canoes. With a little luck we might encounter a beaver, otter, or muskrat as well!

Saturday, October 12, 2019 1-3pm

Sense of Wonder Walk: Meadow Exploration

Learn about the meadow habitat and who lives there at Ipsiwch River Wildlife Sanctuary in Topsfield

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.

Sunday, September 15, 2019 1:30-3pm


Art Academy Summer Program at Montserrat College of Art in Beverly MA

Babson Farm Quarry Self-guided Walking Tour at Halibut Point

Kids will enjoy this tour of the Halibut Point State Park and Quarry with a focus on its stone-cutting history!
Take a self guided tour at one of Massachusetts most beautiful locations!
7:00 am to 6:00 pm

Saugus Iron Works Park Grounds & Estuary Walk

Take a hike along the Saugus River Estuary ande explore the Saugus Iron Works Park grounds in Massachusetts
Learn about the natural world in Saugus while ecploring the park ground ast the Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site in Massachusetts.
7:00 am to 7:00 pm

Maudslay in Bloom Self-Guided Walk

 Maudslay in Bloom self guided walk at Maudslay State Park in Newburyport Massachusetts.
Maudslay State Park in Newburyport, Massachusetts, offers a delightful self-guided walk that is perfect for families with children. The park's 480-acre expanse, once the Moseley Estate, is rich with historical charm and natural beauty. Families can embark on a self-guided tour through lush...
7:00 am to 7:00 pm

StoryWalk Series at Maudslay

It's Summer by Linda Glaser storywalk at Maudslay State Park in Newburyport Massachusetts
Its Summer by Linda Glaser is the subject of this STORYWALK Series.  Watch the world transform when Spring comes!Enjoy this preschool storywalk at your leisure with the younger set and combine reading and time outside in nature!
7:00 am to 8:00 pm

Music Together - Tuesday in Marblehead

Marblehead, Beverly Farms, Hamilton, Salem, Peabody Music Together
Music Together® is a research-based music & movement program for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and the grown-ups who love them. Music Together® of Salem classes make it easy for parents/primary caregivers to play a crucial role in activating their child's music development. Classes are 45...
10:00 am to 10:45 am

Tuesdays are for Everyone at Salisbury Beach

Tuesdays are for everyone special events and activities at Salisbury Beach in Massachusetts
Come to Salisbury Beach every Tuesday, July through August for FREE seaside, family friendly activities! Starting July 11th, every Tuesday, thorugh August 22 there will be free family friendly programing at the Salisbury Beach Center.
10:00 am to 8:00 pm

Gloucester Gratis Days at Hammond Castle

Bring your kids to the Hammond Castle Museum in Gloucester Massachusetts during April Vacation
In keeping with John Hays Hammond, Jr's original vision for his seaside castle-home to serve as a museum offering the Gloucester community access to ancient works of architectural art, Hammond Castle Museum will offer Gloucester residents free, self-guided tours each Tuesday throughout the regular...
10:00 am to 4:00 pm

Swan Boat Rides in Boston Public Garden

Swan Boat Boston North Shore Parent, North Shore Parents Summer Activities Guide
The Public Garden may be one of the most ideal picnicking locations in Boston. Well-groomed and overflowing with tulips, cherry-trees, with willows cascading over the duck pond, the Boston Public Garden is a great place to relax during Boston's most beautiful season.
10:00 am to 3:59 pm

Plankton Safari

Join the team at Maritime Gloucester Massachusetts for a Plankton Safari every Monday and Thursday
Come to Maritime Gloucester and discover what lives near the bottom of the oceanic food chain using digital microscopes!
10:30 am to 3:30 pm

Barnyard Story Hour at Appleton Farms

Kids can meet the barnyard animals and hear a story at Appleton Farms in Ipswich Massachusetts.
Barnyard stories really come alive when you get to see the main characters in real life! Bring the kids down to Appleton Farms for our farm-fresh version of story time. Explore the farmstead, visit our learning garden, see our cows and rabbits, and find a spot to play under a shady tree in our...
10:30 am to 11:30 am

Salem Witch Hunt Walking Tour

Learn about the true reality of the Salem Massachusetts Witch Trials Salem Massachusetts on a guided walking tour with Essex Heritage
Essex Hertiage invites you to learn the true causes and events behind the Salem Witch Trials in our documentary film, then discover the myths during our walking tour. The Salem Witch Trials happened over 300 years ago, and it has been dramatized in books, documentaries, movies, and even TV shows....
11:45 am to 3:00 pm

Ipswich Downtown Tuesdays

Ipswich Downtown Tuesdays includes great dining live music, dancing & extended shopping hours for shopping Downtown Ipswich Massachusetts Tuesday evenings!
Ipswich Downtown Tuesdays includes great dining, live music, dancing at the Take-Out Terrace Stage on the Riverwalk  & extended shopping hours for shopping Downtown Ipswich Tuesday evenings!  Each week will feature live entertainment on the Riverwalk, making for a fun evening out for the whole...
6:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Manchester by the Sea Summer Concert Series

Summer Concerts happen at Masconomo Park in Manchester by the Sea every Tuesday through the Summer!
Come to Manchester Tuesday nights all summer for the annual Music in Masconomo Summer Concert Series. Each week from 6:00 - 8:00 pm a variety of Oldies, Swing, Rhythm & Blues & Classic Rock music will fill the air! Bring your family and friends, blankets and chairs, and dinner to enjoy a...
6:00 pm to 8:00 pm

The North Shore Concert Band at Salem Willows

Kids enjoy the North Shore Concert Band performance at Salem Willows Park in Massachusetts
The North Shore Concert Band will perform its annual Summer Series of free outdoor concerts at the Robert Hayes Bandshell at Salem Willows Park beginning Tuesday, June 25th. 
7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Sunday, July 28

Befriend the Barnyard

Befriend the Barnyard is a hands-on barnyard experience at the Trustees of Reservations' Appleton Farms in Ipswich Massachusetts
Discover our special barnyard animals! Our Angora rabbits Violet, Mabel, Oiver and Charles; Nubian goats Maeve, Morgana, and Mordred; dairy cows Gray, Jasmine, their calves Gigi and Joanie and our friendly flock of heritage chickens will take center stage as we learn about what makes them so unique...
11:00 am to 1:00 pm

Saugus Iron Works House Tours

Free Ranger guided tours of the Saugus Iron Works House in Massachusetts
Join National Park staff at Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site for a 30-minute tour of The Iron Works House.
11:00 am

Country Estate to State Park: Bradley Palmer's Gift

Estate tour at the Bradley Palmer State Park in Hamilton Ipswich Massachusetts
Experience wealthy attorney Bradley Webster Palmer’s extravagant early 1900s world as you take a 3/4 mile outdoor tour of the mansion, stable, a once celebrated formal garden, and other surviving buildings. Hear how Mr.
11:00 am to 12:30 pm

Salem Witch Hunt Walking Tour

Learn about the true reality of the Salem Massachusetts Witch Trials Salem Massachusetts on a guided walking tour with Essex Heritage
Essex Hertiage invites you to learn the true causes and events behind the Salem Witch Trials in our documentary film, then discover the myths during our walking tour. The Salem Witch Trials happened over 300 years ago, and it has been dramatized in books, documentaries, movies, and even TV shows....
11:45 am to 3:00 pm

Drop-in Open House at the Nature Center

Drop-in Open House at the Bradley Palmer State Park Nature Center in Hamilton Ipswich Massachusetts
Explore the Nature Center at your leisure. The Park Interpreter will be on hand to demonstrate and answer questions. Come see and touch animal furs, replica skulls, animal models, and other natural history materials. For little artists, coloring pages and washable markers will be on hand.
1:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Friendship of Salem Open-Ship Hours

Experience 400 Years of Maritime History aboard the Tall Ship Friendship at Derby Wharf in Salem Massachusetts!
Presented by the Salem Maritime National Historic Site,explore the FRIENDSHIP OF SALEM, a replica tall ship based on a 1796 Salem vessel. Learn about the voyages of the original FRIENDSHIP and the lives of the crewmembers onboard. The two-decked, three-masted, square-rigged, 342-ton vessel...
1:00 pm to 4:00 pm

CraneOutdoors: Choate Island Kayak and Hiking Adventure

Take a guided kayak paddle and hike to Choate Island with the Trustees of Reservations!
Join The Trustees of Reservations for a paddle and a hike – what better way to spend an afternoon?  Circumnavigating an island is one of the great rewards of kayaking and reaching the summit of a hill that offers a great view is one of the payoffs of a good hike. This adventure in the Crane...
1:00 pm to 4:30 pm

Essex Heritage Boat Tours to Bakers Island Lighthouse - Salem

Boat and Light Station Tour Bakers Island Tour out of Salem Massachusetts
Climb aboard Naumkeag, Essex Heritage’s landing craft for a trip to Bakers Island Light Station. Enjoy a 30-minute cruise from Salem past rugged coastline, harbor islands, and five lighthouses to Bakers Island. The light station is a 10-acre property that has been in use aiding in maritime...
1:00 pm to 3:30 pm

Saugus Iron Works Tours

Free Ranger guided tours at Saugus Iron Works Colonial Industrial Site in Massachusetts
Join the National Park staff at Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site for a tour of the colonial industrial site. On select days, you may be able to stick around and witness pop-up molten iron pour, blacksmithing, waterwheel demonstrations, and take part in hands-on river stewardship activities.
2:00 pm

Sundays in Patton Park

North Shore Free Concerts for North Shore Families at Patton Park in Hamilton Massachusetts
Come enjoy community and music each Sunday in Patton Park! Dust off your lawn chairs and bring your picnic down to the park on Sunday evenings. We have a fantastic line up of bands this summer ---presented by Institution for Savings Bank and sponsored by The Community House, Town of Hamilton, HW...
5:00 pm to 7:00 pm
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