Visit New England


Get outdoors in winter's beauty! Audubon and other organizations will give you a boost

[fa icon="calendar"] Dec 26, 2017 12:15:09 PM / by Mary Lhowe

Mary Lhowe


You don’t need to be a hard-body ice climber to enjoy winter outdoors. Lots of organizations, like Audubon, host outdoor activities. All the thinking and planning is done; just grab an adventurous adult or kid; put on your coat and mittens; and get out. Some ideas below are programs for kids; some are for all ages:


 School Vacation Week at Tower Hill Botanic Garden - Boylston, MA.  December 27-29

Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Drive, Boylston, MA

Nature crafts, fairy train, story time, milk jug igloo, nature walks, sing-alongs, subtropical oasis, silly photo booth, scavenger hunt, flowers, wish tree forest, DIY decorations, gift shop.


 School's Out Nature Days - Sharon, MA. January 15.

Mass Audubon's Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, 293 Moose Hill Parkway Sharon, MA

How is nature changing as we move from one month to another? Find out as we spend our days out exploring Moose Hill to see what is going on in nature! This Nature Day will include outdoor exploration, nature play, crafts, stories, and fun activities. The program is designed for children ages 4-12 (K-Grade 7)


 Guided Winter Family Field Walks - Brewster, MA. December 27-29

Cape Cod Museum of Natural History, 869 Main Street (Route 6A) Brewster, MA

Join a naturalists from Cape Cod Museum of Natural History for an invigorating winter walk and explore the spectacular world outside the museum. Naturalists will explain the various plants, animals, habitats, and other ecological features along the John Wing Trail in wintertime.



Horse-Drawn Rides at Shelburne Farms - Shelburne, VT. December 23-January 1.

Shelburne Farms, 1611 Harbor Road Shelburne, VT

Giddy-up on these festive and fun 20-minute rides from the Welcome Center. Depending on snow, you’ll enjoy either a sleigh or a wagon ride. All rides are weather permitting. Rides begin on the half-hour and last 20 minutes. The extra 10 minutes is needed for loading and unloading the sleigh. No reservations required.


 Play Date! Winter on the Farm - Shelburne, VT. January 13.

McCLure Education Center at the Farm Barn, Shelburne Farms, 1611 Harbor Road Shelburne, VT

Kids can enjoy wintery, indoor activities with a staff member present for questions. Romp around in an indoor winter forest full of snowy tunnels and dens, ice treasures, and stuffed animal winter wildlife. Bring a lunch or snack. A live owl will be onsite 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Recommended for ages 2 – 5. Registration required.


 Winter Wildlife Detectives - Shelburne, VT. January 20.

Farm Barn, Shelburne Farms, 1611 Harbor Road Shelburne, VT

Learn about animals that are active in the cold Vermont winter in a cozy, indoor, wintry forest. Then, bundle up and go on an outdoor exploration for signs of those animals all around the Farm. We will follow footprints in the snow, look for animal homes, find food remains, and discover other animal clues. For ages five and older with accompanying adult.


 Evening Hike at Merck Forest - Rupert, VT. December 30.

Merck Forest & Farmland Center , 3270 Route 315 Rupert, VT

Send off 2017 with an evening hike in the winter landscape. If the sky is clear, you’ll see a waxing gibbous moon. Dress for the weather, and come equipped with a headlamp, water and snacks. Email:


Tour de Moon at Sugarbush - Warren, VT. December  30-March 3.

Sugarbush Ski Resort, 1840 Sugarbush Access Road Warren,, VT

Join a moonlit skin or snowshoe up Mount Ellen. Open to seasoned skinners or people new to the sport. There will be guided and unguided skinning and snowshoeing to Walt's at the Glen House. At the top, enjoy food and local craft beers. Snowshoe rentals are available.  This event repeats on February 3 and March 3.


Rhode Island

  Animal Tracks and Signs for Families - Smithfield, RI. January 27.

Powder Mill Ledges Wildlife Refuge, 12 Sanderson Road Smithfield, RI

Learn how to identify different tracks and other signs of our native mammals and birds. Investigate artifacts, explore track patterns and make plaster tracks to take home. Venture on the trails to see what evidence can be found of wild things on the refuge. This class will be geared for families with children.

Winter Beach Walk with Audubon - South Kingstown, RI. January 28.

Moonstone Beach, Moonstone Beach Road South Kingstown, RI

Join naturalist Bob Kenney for a mid-day winter walk along Moonstone Beach, without the summer crowds or closed piping plover nesting areas. Our visit is timed to the low tide at 11:14 am, perfect for some leisurely beach combing and bird watching. Bring your binoculars; we’ll have a spotting scope available. 



 Winter Vacation Workshops for Kids - Essex, CT. December 29.

Connecticut River Museum, 67 Main Street, Essex, CT

Over Christmas vacation week come to three mornings of creative fun. On Wednesday, explore the Holiday Train Show. On Thursday learn about animals in winter and their lives in the Connecticut River Valley. On Friday, learn about crystals and create your own winter landscape with common crystals. Pre-registration required Register online.

Mary Lhowe

Written by Mary Lhowe