Family Owl Prowl

Join a Family Owl Prowl Campout at the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary. Photo: Scott Santino

People of all ages love owls, and many species of owls can be found right here in Massachusetts year-round. Experience the excitement of an owl prowl as we take a night hike to look and listen for Barred Owls, Great Horned Owls, and Eastern Screech-owls. Before we head out on our nocturnal adventure, we'll learn fun owl facts in our cozy Barn using real owl mounts, feathers, talons, and a brief slide show. We'll end our evening with an owl-hooting lesson.

Saturday, February 24, 2024 5:30-7:30pm

Fall Full Moon Family Hike at IRWS

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

Spend an evening walking in the crisp autumn air looking and listening for nocturnal wildlife and experiencing the sanctuary in a whole new way. Let your eyes adjust to the moonlight, hear the distant hoots of owls, feel the crunch of leaves underfoot, and smell the chilly air reminding us that winter is just around the corner. Walks are leisurely in pace and lead by an experienced nature educator. What a perfect way to spend a quiet evening and give thanks for the natural wonders all around us!

Saturday, November 18, 2023 5:30-7pm

Into the Woods: Guided Halloween Hike at IRWS

At sundown this Halloween season, Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary will be transformed into a magical forest.

At sundown this Halloween season, Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary will be transformed into a magical forest. Take a guided walk along our Halloween trail, lit by glowing luminaries and home to some interesting characters that come out just for Halloween. Learn about local animals of the night and signs of the season on this, fun family-friendly walk. Allow about one and a half hours for this walk.

Friday, October 20, 2023 5-8:30pm
Saturday, October 21, 2023 5-8:30pm

Topsfield Fair - Opening Day

Topsfield Fair opens the gates at 1pm Friday! Topsfield Fair is one of the longe

The Topsfield Fair is a perennial favorite for us.  We're not the biggest fans of the midway, although it is always worth a walkthrough and a ride or two.  We love fruits and vegetables, and are always on the lookout for the winning 'biggest pumpkin'.  Another favorite is checking out the pigs and other farm animals, as well as the interesting variety of guinea pigs and rabbits.

Friday, September 29, 2023 4-10pm
Daily, September 30-October 9, 2023 10am-10pm

Wetland Wonders at IRWS

Explore the Bunker Meadow Pond at Ipswich river Wildlife Sanctuary in Topsfield Massachusetts

Wetlands are known for their rich variety of plant and animal life. Come explore Bunker Meadow Pond and the Ipswich River for a close-up look at a place where hundreds of hungry creatures are always on the hunt. Using nets and other collecting equipment, we'll dip into the water, sweep through the weeds, and scoop up some mud to discover the creatures that live there. Wear boots if you have them. For kids ages 3-11.

Saturday, October 14, 2023 10-11:30am

Fun in the Field at IRWS

Learn about butterflies and other field creatures at the MassAudubon Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary!

Fields are alive with animal activity on warm, fall days. Spend an early October day chasing butterflies, grasshoppers, and crickets with nets while taking some time to closely observe these amazing insects. We may also encounter predators of the field, such as Blue Birds, Leopard Frogs and Garter Snakes! This will be a hands-on experience the entire family can enjoy.

Saturday, October 7, 2023 10-11:30am

Life Under Logs at IRWS

What lives under logs? Kids will find out at Mass Audubon Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary

What is hiding under the rocks and logs of the sanctuary? Is it a centipede? Is it a salamander? Come find the hidden treasures beneath the forest floor. Walk with us through the forest to see how the changing season affects animals, trees, and plants. Examine tree holes and look for animals in the leaves, whatever we find, we will explore!

Saturday, October 21, 2023 10-11:30 am

Kidleidoscope at Bradley Palmer

Kidleidoscope is a programs designed for preschoolers at Bradley Palmer State Park

Kids ages 3-6 are invited to join this fun, engaging activity session where they will learn about nature through stories, craft and outdoor activitiies. Topics vary by week, so come for them all! Meets at the Nature Center at 40 Asbury Street. An adult must accompany children.  For outdoor programs wear comfortable clothes and sturdy closed toe shoes, insect repellent, and sunscreen.  Bring water.  Inclement weather cancels outdoor programs.

Thursdays, September 21 & 28, 2023 10:30-11:30am
Thursday, October 5, 2023 10:30-11:30am

Tour de Greenbelt

Essex County Greenbelt will host their annual road cycle event to raise funds for conservation efforts on the North Shore!

SEPTEMBER 15: RIDE IS CANCELED DUE TO INCLEMENT WEATHER, PLEASE RIDE VIRTUALLY SEPTEMBER 18-24! VISIT THE WEBSITE FOR MORE INFORMATION. Essex County Greenbelt Association will host the annual road cycle event to raise funds for conservation efforts on the North Shore! Cycling enthusiasts of all abilities can ride through some of Essex County’s most beautiful landscapes in this annual road cycle event to benefit local land conservation. Whether a seasoned road cyclist or a beginner, you can enjoy at your own pace one of three routes offered by Tour de Greenbelt: a 50 mile ride, a shorter route (25 miles), and Gravel Grinder Routes (40 mile and 28 mile), with off-road excursions into protected forests and reservations.

Daily, September 18-24, 2023


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

Music Together - Wednesday

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® classes make it easy for parents/primary caregivers to play a crucial role in activating their child's music development. Classes are 45 minutes...
9:30 am to 11:15 am

Fiddleheads | Preschool Drop-Off Series

The Fiddlehead program at Appleton Farms encourages kids 3-5 to explore their environment in Ipswich Massachusetts
Spring has sprung! It is an excellent time of year for exploring and learning on the farm. We will be planting and harvesting in our garden, taking care of our animals and finding all the signs of spring that nature divulges. Join us on Wednesday mornings from 9:30AM to 12:30PM for a preschool drop...
9:30 am to 12:30 pm

LEGO-Palooza at North Shore Children's Museum

Kids are invited to a freestyle LEGO buiild session
Come and build Legos with us at NSCM! With TONS of Legos available, come and build your creations. This will be a casual club where all participants can follow whatever direction their engineering intuition takes them, we will not be teaching how to make specific models.
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

D&D (Tween Session) at Amesbury Library

Dungeons and Dragons for Tweens at the Public Library in Amesbury Massachusetts
Come play in a Dungeons and Dragons ongoing campaign! You'll create your own characters and build the story session to session. Come if you're a beginner or if you know the rules. All are welcome!  Registration is required and is for all 7 weeks.
10:00 am to 12:00 pm

We Walk the Woods!

Walk the trails in a group at Harold Parker State Forest Every Wednesday at 10am
Walk the trails with a group at Harold Parker State Forest every Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. – Meeting location varies weekly. Email for location.
10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Home & Food Truck Show | Topsfield

Home and Food Truck show at the Topfield Fairground in Massachusetts
April 20th & 21st. FREE admission and FREE parking. All INDOORS & Enjoy the Food Trucks outside. Speak to leading home industry professionals to plan your spring home projects.
10:00 am to 6:59 pm

Stargazing at Mendel Observatory

Mendel Observatory, with the support of volunteers from the North Shore Amateur Astronomy Club, hosts public stargazing every Wednesday night
The Observatory, with the support of volunteers from the North Shore Amateur Astronomy Club, hosts public stargazing every Wednesday night (weather permitting) starting at dusk or 7:30 pm, whichever is later.  When special astronomical events of interest occur (total lunar eclipses, etc.) the Obs
7:00 pm

Saturday, May 25

Sing & Dance with the Music Man

Sing & Dance with the Music Man Brian Doser in Hamilton visit Massachusetts
Come join the fun at Community House Of Hamilton & Wenham Monday, Thursday and Saturday mornings at 10am for 30 - 45 minutes of great music with Brian Doser! Sing and dance with the Music Man during a family concert, featuring familiar and original tunes, performed by local dad and musician,...
10:00 am to 10:45 am

Turtle Time at IRWS

Kids and families 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.
10:00 am to 11:30 am

Home & Food Truck Show | Topsfield

Home and Food Truck show at the Topfield Fairground in Massachusetts
April 20th & 21st. FREE admission and FREE parking. All INDOORS & Enjoy the Food Trucks outside. Speak to leading home industry professionals to plan your spring home projects.
10:00 am to 6:59 pm

LEGO Club at Salem Public Library

Come to the Salem Massachusetts Public Library for an afternoon of LEGO and fun!
Salem Public Library hosts a morning session of LEGO fun! We provide the LEGO, you provide the imagination.  Stop by the library on Saturday mornings (every other Saturday) to play and build.
10:30 am to 11:30 am

Guided Tour | When Granite Was King!

Find out the story behind the history of granite quarrying at Halibut Point State Park in Rockport!
Halibut Point State Park is also a granite quarry with a history that goes back billions of years! Over one hundred years ago, the Rockport Granite Company quarried granite stone here.
11:00 am to 12:00 pm

Long Hill Garden Tours

Tour the Gardens at the Trustees of Reservations Long Hill Gardens in Beverly, Massachusetts!
The Trustees of Reservations invite you to join our expert guides for a tour around Long Hill’s stunning Sedgwick Gardens and learn more about the special plants it’s most known for. In addition to learning about what plants are in bloom as well as the rare and unique species in our collection, you...
11:00 am to 12:00 pm

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

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

CraneOutdoors: Castle Neck Hike in the Dunes

Hiking the Dunes at the Crane Wildlife refuge with the Trustees of Reservations.
While just about everybody on the North Shore has probably been to Crane Beach, the dunes of Castle Neck are a much less explored world unto themselves. Offering one of the most accessible dune ecosystems north of Cape Cod, Castle Neck has over six miles of trails, traversing the dunes, maritime...
1:00 pm to 3:30 pm

Cow Connection at Appleton Farms

Join The Trustees of Reservations at Appleton Farms for Cow Connection in Ipswich Massachusetts
Come and meet, cuddle, brush, scratch, talk, and sit with our hand-raised cows at Appleton Farms! The mild heart rate and warm body temperature of the cows induces a slowing of our own heart rate, as well as the release of Oxytocin, our social bonding hormone. Visit our scenic and historic dairy...
3:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Subscribe to Topsfield