May Adventures: 8 great things families can do together this month

Amanda Collins Bernier
Baystateparent Magazine
Befriend the Barnyard at Appleton Farms

Befriend the Barnyard

Saturdays and Sundays in May, 1-4 p.m.

Appleton Farms - Hamilton and Ipswich

Member adult, child: $10; Nonmember adult, child: $15; Children under 3 free.

Come to the barnyard at Appleton Farms to get up close and friendly with the livestock animals. Visitors can meet and pet the barnyard animals in a relaxed and guided setting. This program is fun for families with young children. Be sure to wear sneakers or other closed-toe shoes when visiting the barnyard. Participants will be asked to follow Covid-19 related guidelines, including wearing face coverings and maintaining social distance. Space is limited for this event and pre-registration is required.

Do Woodpeckers get headaches?

Saturday, May 8, 1-3 p.m.

Broad Meadow Brook Conservation Center and Wildlife Sanctuary - Worcester

Members adults: $15, children:$10; non-members adults: $18, children: $12

Enjoy a spring day at the sanctuary while learning about the woodpeckers that live at Broad Meadow Brook. Find out why they “jackhammer” the trees and then hit the trails to search for different woodpecker species, including the tiny Downy Woodpecker to the crow-sized Pileated Woodpecker. See how these birds eat, communicate, and shape the forest around them. This program will be conducted in accordance with current Covid-19 protocols with classes limited to 15 pre-registered participants. Face coverings and social distancing are required.

Mother's Day Family Yoga in the Park

Sunday, May 9, 10:30- 11 a.m

deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln

Member: adult $12, child $6; nonmember: adult $20, child $10

Mother's Day Yoga in the Park.

Get centered and get moving as a family in this kid-friendly yoga class that balances the wonder and imagination of children with the elements of yoga that facilitate mindfulness, self-regulation and joy. This activity is for ages 3-12 with a caregiver and preregistration is required. Ticket includes entry to the sculpture park. Bring a water bottle and your own mat. Face masks and social distancing are required.

Raccoons and Opossums

Saturday May 15, 10:30 a.m. - 12 p.m

Boston Nature Center and Wildlife Sanctuary, Mattapan

Members: adults, children $10; non-members: adults, children $13.

Learn about raccoons in this Saturday morning program.

Come to the Nature Center to learn about adorable and adaptable raccoons and North America’s only marsupial - the opossum in this Saturday morning program. Find out more fun facts while creating animal art and then looking for signs of these critters along the sanctuary’s trails. Groups are limited to 11 pre-registered children and adults; walk-ins cannot be accommodated. Participants are required to wear a face covering and follow social distancing guidelines.

Hike & Seek: Sprouts of Spring

May 1-16, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Stevens-Coolidge House & Gardens - North Andover

Member family: $4;non-member family $8

Explore the outdoors and reconnect with nature.

Spring has arrived and the woodland forest is a revolving world of new plant species as far as the eye can see. Families are encouraged to explore the outdoors and reconnect with nature springing to life on this self-guided tour. Travel beyond the trails to see the life-cycle of plants, trees, fungi and some surprises spouting up within the woodlands on the Stevens-to-Stevens trail in North Andover. Participants will be emailed an activity bundle to help them look for clues along the trail and work as a team to discover the natural world beneath their feet and under their nose. Pre-registration required to receive a downloadable bundle of the created activities, including maps, scavenger hunt, crafts, additional reading list and recipes. The special trail will run through May 16. Face masks are required while on the trail.

Sunday Morning Bird Walks

Sunday, May 16, 7:30-9:30 a.m.

Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary, Princeton

Members: adult, child $10; nonmembers: adult, child $14

Bring your binoculars and hone your birding skills while wandering the Wachusett Meadow trails in search of resident birds and spring migrants. Improve your visual ID and birding-by-ear techniques, while enjoying the outdoors. Birders of all skill levels are welcome; those ages 12-16 must be accompanied by a participating adult. Class is limited to 11, pre-registration is required and participants must wear a face covering and follow social distancing guidelines.

Fire Pit Picnics

Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in May (except Mother’s Day)

Appleton Farms - Hamilton & Ipswich

Member family: $60; nonmember family: $75

Bring your family and gather ‘round the fire pit to make s’mores and memories at Appleton Farms. Each ticket is good for up to 6 people and includes wood for burning and a kit with supplies for making s’mores. Bring your own food or purchase homemade food items available including soups, salads, fresh baked breads and pretzels and an assortment of baked goods. Each group must be one that is socially distancing together and COVID regulations, including wearing face coverings when you’re not seated at your fire pit, must be followed. Space is limited and pre-registration is recommended. For information visit

Nocturnal Wild Walks

Saturday, May 15, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Chestnut Hill Farm, Southborough

Member: adult $15, child $12; nonmember: adult $25, child $10

Take a 30-minute night hike by moonlight with Trustees ranger and naturalist Tim Puopolo and learn how plants and animals cope with the changing seasons. Watch for animal tracks and other signs of nocturnal wildlife on the farm and through the woods. The hike will be followed by time around the campfire with hot cocoa and s’mores. Wear boots or appropriate shoes for hiking in wet/muddy areas and bring a flashlight. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. Participants are required to follow COVID guidelines including wearing face coverings and social distancing.